As a result of the efforts of President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration, UNESCO has recognized Holy Week as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and Tak’alik Ab’aj as World Heritage

The government obtained the recognition of the Tak'alik Ab'aj National Archaeological Park and Holy Week in Guatemala in 2023.

by Astrid Luna

Guatemala City, by Brenda Larios -AGN- During the term of President Alejandro Giammattei, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -Unesco- has awarded two recognitions.

Este gobierno ha logrado lo que en casi toda la historia no se había logrado, en el mismo periodo constitucional dos patrimonios mundiales, eso es trabajar por la cultura del país.

The president stated, “This government has achieved what in most of our history has never been achieved before: two World Heritage awards. That  is working for the country’s culture.”

In 2023, this administration achieved the qualification of the Tak’alik Ab’aj National Archaeological Park as a new World Heritage Site. And in February of this year, Holy Week in Guatemala was named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Tak’alik Ab’aj

In September, Unesco named the Tak’alik Ab’aj National Archaeological Park a World Heritage Site.

It is located in El Asintal, Retalhuleu, and was inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -Unesco’s Representative List.

The inscription was announced on Monday, September 18, during the 45th Extended Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The president said, “On behalf of the more than 17 million Guatemalans, I want to thank Unesco and the World Heritage Committee for the high honor granted to our country.”

This process began in 2021 with the initial procedures before Unesco to obtain the World Heritage registration.

Holy Week in Guatemala 

On February 26 of this year, in a special ceremony at the Plaza de la Constitución in Guatemala City, the inscription of Guatemala’s Holy Week as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was made official.

Julio Carranza, a representative of Unesco, presented this accreditation.

During this announcement, the president stated, “Today marks a significant milestone. It is the end of a process we showed the world as one of the traditions of greater unity between cultures.”

He was thankful that the authorities accepted the invitation to experience this occasion close up. The event was attended by 18 Unesco ambassadors, who supported Guatemala’s nomination.

As a way of expressing and showing the traditions surrounding the Holy Week, more than eighty catholic brotherhoods from all over the country were present at the plaza.

The ceremony was full of colors, smells, and religious and cultural manifestations that demonstrated the value of receiving this recognition from the world.

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