Guatemala Boasts Four Sites Declared World Heritage of Humanity

President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration has accomplished the inscription of one Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and one World Heritage Site.

by Victor Cojulún

Guatemala City, by Yuliza Muñoz -AGN- The Guatemalan Tourism Institute -Inguat- has highlighted the four sites declared World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization -Unesco-.

The Guatemalan sites that have received this distinction are:

  • Tikal
  • Antigua Guatemala
  • Quiriguá Archaeological Park and Ruins
  • Tak’alik Ab’aj National Archaeological Park

The most recent addition is Tak’alik Ab’aj, a declaration that further solidifies Guatemala’s cultural richness. After 42 years, Guatemala has secured a new place on the list of recognized sites.

The Sites

Each recognized site possesses a unique history that is part of the more than 3,000 years of cultural wealth.

Tikal National Park: Inscribed in 1979, Tikal is one of the most impressive Mayan sites. It is located in the Peten department’s jungle and houses large pyramids and ancient Mayan monuments.

Tak’alik Ab’aj: This 2023 addition to the World Heritage List contains an immense archaeological legacy. Located in Retalhuleu, its name means “standing stone.” It marks the Olmec culture’s end and the Mayan culture’s birth.

Quiriguá: This archaeological park in Izabal was inscribed in 1981. It is renowned for its stelae and stone monuments, including Stela E, the world’s largest.

Antigua Guatemala: The colonial city was added to the list in 1979. Unesco recognized it for its volcanoes, architecture, cobbled streets, squares, and historically rich churches.

Two heritages of humanity were inscribed during President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration. The first was the declaration of Guatemala’s Holy Week as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the second was the declaration of Tak’alik Ab’aj.

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