|Regions with significant populations|
|Washington to Boston, Southern California, South Florida, Houston, San Francisco Bay Area|
|American English, Spanish, Mayan languages|
|Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic|
Guatemalan Americans (Spanish: guatemalo-americanos, norteamericanos de origen guatemalteco or estadounidenses de origen guatemalteco) are Americans of full or partial Guatemalan descent. The Guatemalan population at the 2010 Census was 1,044,209. Guatemalans are the fifth largest Hispanic group in the United States and the second largest Central American population, after Salvadorans. Half of the Guatemalan population is situated in two parts of the country, the Northeast and Southern California.
- 1 History of Guatemalans in the USA
- 2 Cultural
- 3 Demographics
- 3.1 States with largest Guatemalan population (by number)
- 3.2 States with largest Guatemalan population (by percentage)
- 3.3 Cities with largest Guatemalan population
- 3.4 US communities with largest population of people of Guatemalan ancestry
- 3.5 US communities with high percentages of people of Guatemalan ancestry
- 4 List of Guatemalan Americans
- 5 References
History of Guatemalans in the USA
Guatemalans have emigrated to the USA since the 1930s and 1940s. Along with other Central Americans such as Costa Ricans, they first arrived by way of Mexico and settled in urban areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, New York City and San Francisco.
Guatemalan Civil War (1970s-1980s)
The intensification of the Guatemalan Civil War during the 1970s and 1980s led to an influx of tens of thousands of Guatemalan refugees into the United States via Mexico, via both legal and illegal means. Guatemalan refugees became an important political and economic influence on seeking an end to the civil war, which finally came about in 1996. They also organized to change policies of the Mexican government in dealing with Guatemalan immigrants' legal status, their experience in Mexico, and difficulties of Guatemalans in Mexico immigrating to the US.
During the Guatemalan civil war, there was massive destruction of rural villages and farmlands. In the 1996 peace accords, there was a free exchange of civilian land to favor the rise of corporate agribusinesses with the drop of prices of local agricultural products. This heavily affected farm workers and inhabitants of the countryside and they had to immigrate into the US through Mexican territory.
After September 11, 2001, Mexican officials made new laws through an initiative limiting immigration visas and other repressive measures on the southern Mexican border through Plan Sur, a binational treaty with the Guatemalan government.
Guatemalan Americans are a very culturally diverse group of people, included about 23 distinct ethnic groups, whose languages are different, although maintain unique cultural traditions. The groups are, in majority, Mayans. The Ladinos are a different group that speak Spanish language and have the Spanish culture. So, Guatemalan Americans are a multicultural community. This reason is why the assimilation processes, traditional beliefs, and customs vary differently according the group.
Immigrant Mayan American communities have preserved their ethnic customs. The Guatemalans of European descent (most of Spanish ancestries) often mixed with other U.S. Hispanic groups. However, it is unknown the transmission of cultural traditions Guatemalans of immigrants to their descendants by lack of studies, not knowing anything about their descendants.
Some traditions have remained in most neighborhoods of Guatemalan immigrants, especially in Los Angeles, Houston, and southern Florida, sections in that the Guatemalan traditions are being transformed, and lost due to American acculturation. Some Guatemalan traditions are the celebration of Quinceñeros, the formation of soccer leagues, and the Organization de las Fiestas de la Patronal (Organization of Patronal Parties).
The difference with Guatemalans in the US from other Latinos is that a large percentage of Guatemalans are Evangelical Protestants. Guatemala had seen a rise of Protestant and Evangelist churches in the late 20th century, although the majority of Guatemalans are Roman Catholics.
According to the national census in 2006, Protestants constituted about 30% of the population in Guatemala, the majority are from rural indigenous communities. Guatemalan-Americans are a contributor to the rise of Hispanic Protestants in the USA during the 2000s.
Half of the Guatemalan population is situated in two parts of the country, the Northeast and Southern California. A combined population of 267,335 resides in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.
The Northeast megalopolis, extending from Northern Virginia to north of Boston is home to a population of 257,729 Guatemalans. Cities such as Langley Park, Maryland, Trenton, New Jersey, Stamford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Lynn, Massachusetts have significant concentrations of Guatemalans along the corridor.
States with largest Guatemalan population (by number)
The 10 states with the largest population of Guatemalans (Source: 2010 Census):
- California - 332,737
- Florida - 83,882
- New York - 73,806
- Texas - 66,244
- New Jersey - 48,869
- Georgia - 36,874
- Illinois - 35,321
- Maryland - 34,491
- Virginia - 33,556
- Massachusetts - 32,812
States with largest Guatemalan population (by percentage)
The 10 states with the highest percentage of Guatemalans (Source: 2010 Census):
- Rhode Island - 1.8%
- California - 0.9%
- Maryland - 0.6%
- Delaware - 0.6%
- New Jersey - 0.6%
- Massachusetts - 0.5%
- Nevada - 0.5%
- Nebraska - 0.5%
- Connecticut - 0.5%
- Florida - 0.4%
Cities with largest Guatemalan population
The largest population of Guatemalans are situated in the following areas (Source: Census 2010):
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA - 231,304
- New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA - 101,257
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA - 52,421
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA - 47,699
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA - 38,147
- San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA MSA - 37,700
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA - 33,573
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA - 28,726
- Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA - 27,571
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA - 22,241
- Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA MSA - 21,540
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA - 14,978
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT MSA - 12,754
- Trenton-Ewing, NJ MSA - 12,548
- Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ MSA - 11,702
- Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA - 10,460
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA - 8,114
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA - 7,305
- Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA - 6,512
- Port St. Lucie, FL MSA - 6,269
US communities with largest population of people of Guatemalan ancestry
The top 25 US communities with the highest populations of Guatemalans (Source: Census 2010)
- Los Angeles, CA - 138,139
- New York, NY - 30,420
- Houston, TX - 25,205
- Chicago, IL - 17,973
- Providence, RI - 11,930
- Trenton, NJ - 8,691
- Stamford, CT - 7,707
- Phoenix, AZ - 6,722
- San Francisco, CA - 6,154
- San Rafael, CA - 5,895
- Lynn, MA - 5,715
- Oakland, CA - 5,223
- Long Beach, CA - 5,134
- Langley Park, MD - 5,029
- Boston, MA - 4,451
- Lake Worth, FL - 4,432
- Plainfield, NJ - 4,302
- Oklahoma City, OK - 4,256
- Dallas, TX - 4,238
- Miami, FL - 4,135
- West Palm Beach, FL - 3,897
- Hawthorne, CA - 3,669
- Palmdale, CA - 3,618
- Inglewood, CA - 3,593
- Las Vegas, NV - 3,592
US communities with high percentages of people of Guatemalan ancestry
The top 25 US communities with the highest percentages of Guatemalans as a percent of total population (Source: Census 2010)
- Marydel, MD - 42.55%
- Brewster, NY - 38.16%
- Indiantown, FL - 37.15%
- Templeville, MD - 31.88%
- Georgetown, DE - 31.86%
- Chamblee, GA - 30.89%
- Henderson, MD - 29.45%
- Langley Park, MD - 26.81%
- Ellijay, GA - 19.39%
- Tice, FL - 18.66%
- Collinsville, AL - 18.51%
- East Ellijay, GA - 18.31%
- Mount Kisco, NY - 16.38%
- Fairview, NJ - 15.84%
- Schuyler, NE - 13.99%
- Saluda, SC - 13.74%
- Central Falls, RI - 13.28%
- Greenport, NY - 13.06%
- Carthage, MO - 12.80%
- Lake Worth, FL - 12.70%
- Quioque, NY - 12.62%
- Stacy Street, FL - 12.59%
- Modest Town, VA - 11.41%
- Trion, GA - 10.84%
- Monterey, TN - 10.77%
List of Guatemalan Americans
- Luis Beza - American trumpet player for third-wave ska band Suburban Legends.
- David Campos - Guatemalan-American attorney and member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 9.
- Ricardo Alfonso Cerna - (1956–2003) Guatemalan immigrant to the United States known for committing suicide in 2003 with a gun in an interrogation room in the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office in Muscoy, California
- David Estrada (boxer) - He is of Guatemalan descent.
- Francisco Goldman - American novelist, journalist, and Allen K. Smith Professor of Literature and Creative Writing. He is son of a Guatemalan Catholic mother and Jewish-American father.
- Ted Hendricks - Guatemalan born, that was former American football linebacker who logged 15 seasons for the Baltimore Colts (1969–73), the Green Bay Packers (1974) and the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders (1975–83) in the National Football League.
- Oscar Isaac - Guatemalan born American raised actor and singer.
- Ed Lopez - American Republican Party activist and National Vice Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He is of Guatemalan descent.
- Manny Marroquin - Grammy winning mixing engineer. Guatemalan born, his family moved to Los Angeles when he was nine due to the Guatemalan Civil War.
- Benito Martinez (actor) - American actor most known for his role as police captain (later city councilman) David Aceveda in the television series The Shield
- AraabMuzik -American hip hop record producer of Dominican and Guatemalan descent.
- Lorena Pinot - American recording artist and songwriter.
- KC Porter - American record producer, songwriter, musician and singer
- Bridget Powers - American hardcore pornographic actress.
- Pam Rodriguez - American glamour model of Guatemalan and Puerto Rican descent.
- Devorah Rose - Guatemalan/Venezuelan American socialite
- Juana Samayoa - Guatemalan-American actress and television presenter.
- Estuardo Sanchez - American soccer player who currently plays for Los Angeles Misioneros in the USL Premier Development League.
- Willie Sims (footballer) - Guatemalan born, American raised footballer
- Ryan Spilborghs - American professional baseball outfielder in the Texas Rangers organization.
- Luis von Ahn - Entrepreneur and an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University
- Héctor Tobar - Los Angeles author and journalist.
- Norma Torres - Politician. She is a Guatemalan born but American raised.
- David Unger (author) - Guatemalan-American author and translator.
- Daphne Zuniga - American actress (Melrose Place, One Tree Hill and Spaceballs). Her father was originally from Guatemala.
- US Census Bureau 2012 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved September 20, 2013
- Guatemalan Americans Posted by Maria Hong. Retrieved Agoust 11, 2012, to 3:09 pm.
- Jaggi, Maya (February 2, 2008). "A life in writing: Francisco Goldman". The Guardian (London).
- Madeleine Marr: Miami actor Oscar Isaac rule 'Robin Hood'. The Miami Herald, May 16, 2010, retrieved April 16, 2011
- Language of Lopez
- Daley, Dan. "Manny Marroquin". Sound on Sound. May 2005. Retrieved February 10, 2007
- 12:00AM. "AraabMUZIK". Schedule.sxsw.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-27.
- "Pam Rodriguez interview". Open Your Eyes Magazine. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Daphne Zuniga displays snob appeal in 'Spaceballs'". Chicago Sun-Times. June 28, 1987.