7 Activities That Will Teach You About the Culture in Guatemala

Maya man at the market in Sololá, Guatemala
Maya man at the market in Sololá, Guatemala | © SL-Photography / Shutterstock
Jack Guy

Longer trips are a perfect opportunity to combine relaxation with learning a new skill and appreciating the culture of the country you are traveling in. Here are some of the best cultural experiences to be had in Guatemala.

Take a cooking class

Guatemalan cuisine is full of great stews like pepian and kak’ik, as well as plenty of other dishes that you will see at markets and restaurants around the country. Take a cooking course at El Frijol Feliz or La Tortilla cooking school in Antigua to learn how to make them yourself.

Cooking in Guatemala

Learn Spanish

Learning the language is the best way to make better connections with a culture, and Guatemala is no different. Taking a course will help you feel more comfortable navigating the country and getting to know its people. Antigua and San Pedro la Laguna are both home to lots of Spanish schools.

Guatemalan textiles

Dying workshops

Traditional textiles are still widely used by people all over Guatemala—who could miss the brightly-colored huipiles worn by indigenous women?—and what better way to appreciate them than by learning how they’re made. Take a class at TinteMaya in San Juan la Laguna or Trama Textiles in Quetzaltenango.

Make your own chocolate

Book a tour at the ChocoMuseo in Antigua to see how Guatemalan chocolatiers make bars from locally produced cacao. You get to take your chocolate home too, which makes for a great souvenir.

Weaving workshops

After traditional textiles are dyed, they then have to be woven into particular shapes and designs. In many communities, this means traditional backstrap weaving. Learn how this laborious process works in a class at Tintos y Arte in Antigua and you’ll gain even more respect for the weavers.

Made with love

Take a barista course

Guatemalan coffee is famous around the world, and its reputation continues to grow, so what better place to learn about coffee and how to make the perfect cup? Sign up to a course at Anacafé in Guatemala City and you’ll leave with a certificate from the national coffee association.

Shake away the cobwebs at a salsa class

Salsa is a big deal in Guatemala, and plays a major part in its nightlife. Instead of stumbling around the dance floor crashing into people, take a few classes to get the basics down. Before long, you’ll be strutting your stuff with the locals.

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