The city center of Huehuetenango
|• Mayor||Augusto Gómez (PAN)|
|Elevation||1,901 m (6,237 ft)|
|Population (census 2002)|
|• Ethnicities||Mam, Ladino|
|• Religions||Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Maya|
Huehuetenango is a city and a municipality in the highlands of western Guatemala. It is also the capital of the department of Huehuetenango. The municipality's population was over 81,000 people in 2002. The city is located 269 km from Guatemala City, and is the last departmental capital on the Pan-American Highway before reaching the Mexican border at La Mesilla.
Huehuetenango (originally called Xinabahul in the Mam language) was already a Mayan settlement before the Spanish conquest of the fortified city of Zaculeu, which was the Pre-Columbian capital of the Mam kingdom situated just a few kilometers from Xinabahul. The name 'Huehuetenango' means place of the ancients (or ancestors) in Nahuatl which is the name Gonzalo de Alvarado adopted from his Nahua allies when Zaculeu and Xinabahul were conquered.
Many people of Mam descent still live in and around Huehuetenango, and the nearby ruins of Zaculeu have become a tourist attraction. These ruins are markedly distinct from other Mayan archeological sites; the original unearthed stones, comprising only a small portion of the original structures, were coated with plaster during restoration works carried out in the 1940s. There is also a small museum at Zaculeu which includes statues and small artifacts found on the site.
Huehuetenango's primary export is coffee.
- "XI Censo Nacional de Poblacion y VI de Habitación (Censo 2002)". Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). 2002.