What they don’t teach you in Spanish class

Priya Larson shares some of the new knowledge of Guatemaltequismos she's discovered in her 5 weeks here!


Priya Larson returns to our blog with more of what she’s discovered while in Guatemala!


Things Guatemalans say and wear (that weren´t in Spanish class):

“Fíjese que…”  –  They use this a lot. It sort of means ¨note that,¨ and you can conjugate it in all forms (Fíjate, fíjense).

“No tenga pena” – A new way for me to say “don’t worry”

“Feliz día” (or tarde, or noche) – Happy day! (afternoon, night)

“Nos vemos” – ¨See you later,¨ rather than “hasta luego”

“Como te (le) fue?” – Just a new way (for me) of saying “how’s it going with you?”

After a meal, you say “gracias” and everyone else says “buen provecho” – Kind of like bon apetit, but after the meal!

Usted (the respectful way to refer to you) – They more often use it instead of tú, the less formal word for “you”

“Pase adelante”  – Come in (and look at my products! (at the market))



Women’s traje (outfits) of the Maya peoples

  • Huipil (blouse with a pattern unique to its area of Guatemala – Check out WK’s Traje Tuesday on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about this!)
  • Corte (a long piece of cloth wrapped around to form a skirt)
  • Faja (a belt without a clasp to hold the other two together, just tucked in and cinched)
  • Delantal – a frilly yet functional apron over the skirt – very beautiful!


The rare traditional men’s trajes I’ve seen have: 

  • Patterned pants
  • A shorter skirt or cloth
  • A colorful ¨cowboy¨ style shirt
  • Of course, a sombrero.