Etiquette in Guatemala

Guatemala, home to 15.5 million people, is located in Central America, on the southern border of Mexico.

The official language is Spanish. Over 40 % of the populations speaks or understands one of the many native Indian dialects. English is understood in tourist centers.

Guatemala is a constitutional democratic republic. The president is both head of state and head of government.

Over half of the Guatemalan population is Catholic and 40% are Protestant. Many other faiths are practiced by smaller percentages of the population, including the indigenous Mayan faith.

The local currency is the Quetzal.

Business Negotiation Etiquette

Spend time developing a friendship before starting your business negotiations. Guatemalans only conduct business after a relationship has been established. The pace of negotiations can be slow when compared to other parts of North America and you should expect to take several trips to finalize a transaction.

There is a strong sense of personal honor in business people. Do not publicly criticize, pull rank, or do anything that might be the cause of embarrassment.

It is also important to note that many local factories are owned by Asian companies, therefore is it dually important to avoid causing a loss of face.

Business is not discussed in homes or around family, only at the office or over a meal in a restaurant.