Afro-Guatemalan are Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

ns of African descent. Afro-Guatemalans comprise 1-2% of the population. They are of mainly English speaking West Indian (Antillean
The Antilles islands form the greater part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. The Antilles are divided into two major groups: the "Greater Antilles" to the north and west, including the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola , and Puerto Rico; and the smaller "Lesser Antilles" on the...

) and Garifuna
The Garinagu are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people. The British colonial administration used the term Black Carib and Garinagu to distinguish them from Yellow and Red Carib, the Amerindian population that did not intermarry with Africans...

 population. They are found in the Caribbean coast, in Livingston
Livingston, Guatemala
Livingston is the name of a town in Izabal Department, eastern Guatemala, at the mouth of theRío Dulce at the Gulf of Honduras. The town serves as the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name.It was Guatemala's main port on the Caribbean Sea before the construction of nearby Puerto...

 (a Garifuna settlement), Puerto Barrios
Puerto Barrios
Puerto Barrios is a city in Guatemala, located within the Gulf of Honduras at. The bay in which the harbour is located is called Bahia de Amatique. Puerto Barrios is the departmental seat of Izabal department and the administrative seat of Puerto Barrios municipality.Puerto Barrios was named after...

 and Santa Tomas. During the colonial period, African slaves were brought in, but have mixed with the general population and can be referred to as Afro-mestizos.


The first Afro-Guatemalan arrived in Guatemala in 1524 with Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He participated in the conquest of Cuba, in Juan de Grijalva's exploration of the coasts of Yucatan and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the conquest of Mexico led by Hernan Cortes...

 (the “Conqueror of Guatemala”). Slaves were used in the sugar, indigo, and cochineal plantations. They were also used in the hacienda or large cattle ranch. They were mainly settled in the Pacific southern and inland areas. Between 1524 and 1620, a total of 10,000 African slaves were brought to Guatemala. After 1620, the importation of slaves cease. Slaves would runaway forming maroon societies, living among the Indian population.Slavery ended in 1823. Eventually, the slave population would mix with the general population of Guatemala. During the 17th century, some slave were able to buy their freedom, forming a small community of free blacks.

Marimba a type of xylophone
The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets...

, created in Guatemala is believed to be of African roots. The most famous of Afro-Mestizos was dictator Rafael Carrera
Rafael Carrera
José Rafael Carrera Turcios was the ruler of Guatemala from 1844 to 1848 and from 1851 until his death in 1865. During his military career and presidency, the new nations in Central America faced numerous problems...

. He had African and European ancestry. He ruled Guatemala from 1844 to 1865.

Garifuna and Antillean

The Garifuna entered Guatemala in 1823, after independence. They occupied the Caribbean lowland. They were later joined by free blacks of the colonial era. In the latter part of the 20th century, West Indian workers were brought in to work the banana plantations. A few made Guatemala home.
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