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Resources on Contemporary Guatemala

Background on History and Culture

  • Introduction to Guatemala (Britannica) 
  • Timeline: Guatemala's History of Violence (PBS Frontline)
    • explores more than 50 years of violent suppression and revolving dictatorships in the country and the role played by the U.S.
  • Teaching Central America: Teaching for Change
    • Resources including lesson plans, books, bios on important cultural/historical figures, films, and resources for teaching Central American culture
    • Guatemalan films
      • 500 Years of Resistance(Trailer)
        • It describes the struggle of the largely Indian peasantry against a heritage of state and foreign oppression. Centered on the experiences of Rigoberta Menchú, the film is a prequel to 'Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.'
      • Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (Vimeo)
        • "Part political thriller, part memoir, Yates transports us back in time through a riveting, haunting tale of genocide and returns to the present with a cast of characters joined by destiny and the quest to bring a malevolent dictator to justice."

Contemporary Culture

Visual Art
  • La Llorona
    • Guatemalan writer and director Jayro Bustamante tells the story of the weeping woman through a political drama that follows a retired Guatemalan dictator found guilty of the genocide of tens of thousands of native lxil Mayan people during the early 1980s.
    • Ixcanul 
      • In this dreamlike fusion of documentary and fable, two young, impoverished Mayan lovers escape from their servitude on a remote Guatemalan coffee plantation and attempt to make their way to the United States.
    • The Golden Dream
      • A piercing and poetic road movie that follows the fortunes of four Guatemalan teenagers on a dangerous journey across the Mexican border into America
    • Nuestras Madres
      • Set in 2018 Guatemala. Ernesto, a young forensic anthropologist tasked with identifying missing victims of the country’s 36-year civil war, believes he might have found a lead that will guide him to his own father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war.