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Municipality and town
Alotenango is located in Guatemala
Location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 14°29′16″N 90°48′21″W / 14.48778°N 90.80583°W / 14.48778; -90.80583Coordinates: 14°29′16″N 90°48′21″W / 14.48778°N 90.80583°W / 14.48778; -90.80583
Country  Guatemala
Department Bandera de Sacatepéquez.svg Sacatepéquez
Population (2002)
 • Total 15,848
Time zone Central Time (UTC-6)
Climate Cwb

Alotenango (Alo-tenamitl-co; translation "in the wall of the parrots")[1] (variation: Atchalan)[2] is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Sacatepéquez. According to the 2002 Guatemalan census, the municipality has a total of 15,848 people.[3] The municipality consists of four wards and is on the Escuintla road (National Highway 14).[4] Located in a valley, Alotenango is a Ladino coffee center.[5]


According to the Popol Vuh, the town is mentioned as Vucuc Caquix. The community of Alotenango grew up originally 3 to 4 kilometers south of the current settlement which today is the Candelaria farm. This settlement was established before the Spanish arrived in Alotenango in 1524.[6]


Alotenango is located in the valley of the same name. The valley is bounded by Chimaltenango to the north and to the west and south by the Escuintla Department.[7] The town is the starting point for the ascent of Volcán de Agua which like most other places within the department looms above to the immediate east of the town. There is also a direct ascent available for Volcán de Fuego from Alotenango.[8] National Highway 14 connects Alotenango to the cities of Antigua Guatemala in the north and Escuintla in the south.


The municipality is home to a Franciscan monastery and a large church. A large hut has been used as a courthouse.[9] The sandy plaza holds a Sunday market.[2]

The residents, mainly Maya peoples, are notable for a highly particular local culture retaining elements from their ancient Maya society past while including elements from the dominant Hispanic culture as well.[10] Most of the people are peasant Cakchiquel who once spoke only Cakchiquel but now mainly speak Spanish.[11] Other historians believe the town is inhabited by descendants of Nahua speaking Pipils, an indigenous people who live in western El Salvador.[4] However, in the Titulo de Alotenango, a 16th-century legal document, the land dispute claims were between the Cakchiquel of Alotenango and the Pipil of Escuintla.[12]

Married couples leave their Patrilocal extended household only after several children are born.[11]

24 June is a festival day in honor of Saint John the Baptist, the town's patron saint.


Under Anacafé, Alotenango is situated in the Antigua coffee region.[13]

The Capetillo farm was developed in the 18th century by Spanish Royal Treasurer Juan Antonio Capetillo. Formed from different lots totaling seven caballertas, it only grew sugar cane until 1875. The farm was purchased by Jose Mariano Rodriguez in 1875, and he began coffee cultivation. Revenue generation figures for that year were 2,800 pesos, increasing to 12,000 pesos in 1878. In 1880, there were 200,000 producing coffee trees, a mill, and 25,000 pesos of revenue. Capetillo coffee was awarded the only Grand Prize for Coffee at the 1915 Universal Exhibition.[14]


  1. ^ Membreño, Alberto (1901). "Nombres Geograficos de Guatemala". Nombres geográficos indígenas de la república de Honduras. Tipografía Nacional. p. xix. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Alexander (1998). Cultural Anthropology: The Field Study of Human Beings. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 415–416. ISBN 0-939693-48-8. 
  3. ^ "XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI de Habitación (CENSO 2002)". INE. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Faubert, Denis; Soldevila, Carlos (2000). Guatemala. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 142. ISBN 2-89464-175-3. 
  5. ^ Stewart, pp. 112, 114
  6. ^ "Alontenango:Historia" (in Spanish). Inforpressca. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Juarros, Domingo, Baily, John (1823). A statistical and commercial history of the kingdom of Guatemala, in Spanish America: containing important particulars relative to its productions, manufactures, customs, &c. &c. &c. : with an account of its conquest by the Spaniards, and a narrative of the principal events down to the present ... J. Hearne. p. 482. 
  8. ^ Stewart, Iain; Whatmore, Mark (2002). The Rough Guide to Guatemala. Rough Guides. p. 115. ISBN 1-85828-848-7. 
  9. ^ Moore, pp. 415–416
  10. ^ Moore, p. 426
  11. ^ a b Moore, p. 311
  12. ^ Williams, Gareth (2002). The other side of the popular: neoliberalism and subalternity in Latin America. Duke University Press. p. 334. ISBN 0-8223-2941-7. 
  13. ^ "Antigua Coffee". Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Wagner, Regina; Von Rothkirch, Cristóbal (2001). The history of coffee in Guatemala. Villegas Asociados. pp. 114, 135. ISBN 958-8156-01-7.