French Guatemalan

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France French Guatemalan Guatemala
Regions with significant populations
Guatemala City, Antigua Guatemala and Quetzaltenango
Spanish and French
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
French people, White Guatemalan, Guatemalans

A French Guatemalan is a citizen of Guatemala who has French ancestry. Guatemalans of French descent make up the third largest European-descended group in Guatemala, after the German Guatemalans and Spanish Guatemalans. According to the French embassy, as of 31 December 2010, there are 803 French citizens in Guatemala.[1]


The history of the French in Guatemala is divided into three periods of migratory waves.

The late eighteenth century[edit]

After the French Revolution, capitalists and entrepreneurs came to create coffee plantations in several countries of America, in Guatemala spanned throughout the altiplano.[2] Between 1789 and 1917, European policies fought for or against of the principles of 1789. In this regard France bring to the vocabulary programs, and liberal parties, the radical democratic most of the world and also in Guatemala. France brought influence to the next revolutionary movements in Hispanic America.[3]

Independence era[edit]

French former soldiers of the Napoleonic War and South American independence wars (Nicolas Raoul, Isidoro Saget, Henri Terralonge, Aluard, Courbal, Duplessis, Gibourdel and Goudot) offered their services during the independence wars.[4] Initial diplomatic contact between France and Central America began in 1827; full diplomatic relations were established in 1830.[4] Later some French politicians moved to Guatemala City during the wars between liberals and conservatives. When the Federal Republic of Central America was divided, some French migrated to Costa Rica and Nicaragua although the majority remained in Guatemala. Since then began to arrive politicians, scientists, artists, builders, traders, doctors, and singers plus some families, many of them was married with Guatemalan women, which caused an increase of Guatemalan people of French descent (both direct and mixed).[4]

Twentieth century[edit]

Towards a census in 1900, there were 8,000 French people in Mesoamerica, Three quarters parts in Mexico and nearly a fifth in Guatemala.[5] With the arrival of the Guatemalan presidency of General José María Reina Barrios, who was educated in Paris, began a revival of diplomatic relations between France and Central America. In 1920, after the triumph of the Unionist movement, is founded in Guatemala City the Alliance Francaise, for initiative of several Guatemalan families of French origin.[4]


Many Guatemalans of French descent still preserve the French language and contumbres and traditions of France. A agran majority belongs to the Catholic religion, there are minorities Protestant, Jews and muslims. Over 800 French people are estimated to live in Guatemala, making it the third largest French community in Central America, behind Panama and Costa Rica.

Notable Guatemalan French[edit]

Guatemala–France relations[edit]

The language and arts[edit]

School Jules Verne in Fraijanes, department of Guatemala.

The French Alliance (in French alliance française) and the French Lycée Jules Verne are dedicated to the promotion of French culture and Francophone in Guatemala in its various expressions: Performing arts (music, theater, dance), visual arts (exhibitions, performances, film), lectures, discussions (literature, debates) and training (workshops residences).[6]

The French embassy in Guatemala[edit]

The French Embassy in Guatemala is responsible for maintaining both cultural and diplomatic relations between France and Guatemala. The French Embassy in Guatemala provides bursaries and scholarships for France, also report information of Guatemala ain France and in Guatemala report information of France. The current French ambassador to Guatemala is Philippe Franc.[7]

French and Franco-Guatemalan associations[edit]

There are several associations:[8]

  • Sección local de la Union de Franceses del Extranjero (UFE)
  • Sociedad Francesa de Beneficencia (SFB)
  • Guatem’accueil
  • Asociación de ex-estudiantes en Francia (AEF)
  • Establecimiento escolar francés Lycée Jules Verne
  • Alianza francesa de Guatemala
  • Alianza francesa de la Antigua
  • Alianza francesa de Quetzaltenango
  • Antena del Centro francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos (CEMCA)


Lycée Français Jules Verne, a French international school, is located in Fraijanes, Guatemala.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Répartition par pays de la population française inscrite au registre au 31 décembre 2010 Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international
  2. ^ Wagner, Regina (noviembre de 2001). Histoire café du Guatemala. Bogota, D,C, Colombie: Anacafe. pp. 203, 207. ISBN 958-96982-8-X.
  3. ^ French Revolution and the impact in the world USAC. Retrieved 16/04/2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica (AFEHC) Relaciones entre Francia y Guatemala (1823-1954) Guatemala, 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  5. ^ [1] México-France. ISBN 968-6029-78-8
  6. ^ French Culture in Guatemala-French Alliance Retrieved.16/04/2015
  7. ^ The French embassy in Guatemala
  8. ^ The French and Franco-Guatemalans Associations
  9. ^ "Lieu et accès." Lycée Français Jules Verne. Retrieved on 18 January 2015. ""1a Avenida 2-62 Zona1, Aldea Don Justo Km. 18.5 a San Jose Pinula 01062 FRAIJANES"