Posted 26 February, 2016 by-Ministry of Culture and Sports in News

26 February Day of Cultural Heritage of Guatemala

NUEVO 26 de feb

The Government's first official visit to the Maya city of Tikal, a 26 February 1848, marked the history of our country in terms of Cultural Heritage of the Nation. The visit was made by the Governor and Judge of Petén, Modesto Méndez. That has, in 1998 Government Decision No. 86-98 declares the 26 February as the Day of Cultural Heritage of Guatemala.

The cultural heritage of a nation is made up of those art historical and archaeological elements that reflect the heritage of past generations and that allow a broader understanding of the history and way of life of a people or civilization.

Cultural heritage is divided into Tangible Cultural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage. What are tangible Cultural Heritage Properties, as the architecture of a location, vernacular architecture, archaeological and paleontological sites, centers and historic areas including the environment and natural landscape, mention some examples.


Importance of Cultural Heritage Day

In the consciousness to know our heritage arises in the Age of Enlightenment ie late eighteenth century, when I visit Guatemala the Spanish Scientific Mission, who recommended making a cabinet of natural history in Guatemala to publicize the country's wealth.

In 1829 a museum set in the National Palace, which did not have much life but if it is a pioneer in assessing collections. He went to 1866, when the economic society of Friends of the National Museum founded Guatemala, where space is given to the various cultural events of the past. However, the first legal provisions for the conservation of archaeological remains are encountered during the government of José María Reyna Barrios 1892-1898, performing the first payroll, the same during the administration of Estrada Cabrera. Regarding the colonial heritage was 1944 when General Jorge Ubico Antigua Guatemala declared the national monument, corresponds to the Constitution of the Republic of 1945 establish that the paleontological property, prehispanic, colonial part of the heritage of the nation.

The 23 February 1946, Dr administration. Juan José Arévalo, the National Institute of Anthropology and History is created, with the aim of coordinating museums and social research in the country. The following year 1947 Decree approving 425, Law of Cultural Patrimony of the Nation giving the Institute of Anthropology and History, responsibility for application, this decree remained in force until 1997.

Actions being developed

The importance of the general population recognizes the intangible cultural heritage, its importance in the construction of the sociocultural identity of persons and thus the recognition and measurement of the contribution made by the carriers of culture to preserve the cultural events besides being identity elements of a people, are elements identifying the country, allowing start building intercultural dialogues, thus achieving contribute to the institutional mandate of the Ministry of Culture and Sports

Among the actions that have been generated, the creation of a Technical Management Intangible Cultural Heritage Year 2007, the establishment of the shares in favor of it, such as the inscription on the Representative List of UNESCO, on Music, Dance and Garifuna Language, from Baile Drama Rabinal Achí, Registration Year 2013 del Ceremonial de La P'aach, have recognized the work of artisans from the delivery of the prize Pawajtun, defined policy on the issue of Mayan spirituality and use the spaces inherent in sites and parks, defined safeguarding plans, The procedure was established with the carriers of culture, in informing about their cultural manifestations establishing intervention strategies for the intangible cultural heritage, starting with the sensitization process through workshops and briefings, development of inventories and studies of various cultural events, analysis of risks and threats of cultural events with the participation of the carrier of culture and establishing plans and safeguards, coordination is maintained with municipal governments and civil society to build sustainability in action.

Nomination Civic Center World Heritage

The Directorate General of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Year 2013 formed a technical committee for the revaluation of the Historic called Civic Center Guatemala City, where one of the objectives is to place it in the indicative list of UNESCO and to have nomination for World Heritage, during the year 2013 the technical committee has been working to develop file to declare the Civic Center Cultural Heritage of the Nation as one of the first steps for nomination

The 5 March 2014 by Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2014 the historic city of Guatemala declares, Cultural Heritage of the Nation and its Catchment.

During the year 2014 The technical committee is working to address all the challenges of a nomination of such type, to this forum in order to give civil society meet heritage values ​​and the importance of this historic site was also conducted. It is planning an agenda based on the requirements requested by UNESCO to form the record for nomination, which leads estimated two years time.

Acknowledgements important heritage

Declaration of Tikal as Cultural and Natural Heritage, worth referring to this important Mayan city, noted for its grandeur was discovered in the year 1848, by the mayor of Petén, Colonel Modesto Mendez, who informed by a group of Indians of a lost city in the jungle, verified and thus the discovery of this city that was given the name of Tikal becomes official. Along its discovery has been accessed by multiple archaeologists, of various nationalities, becomes relevant work carried out by the University of Pennsylvania 1957- 1962. Earlier 1955, Tikal National Park managed by the Institute of Anthropology and History was created.

Antigua Guatemala was declared Cultural Heritage Year 1979, at UNESCO meeting in Luxor, Egypt.

In 1983 Quirigua UNESCO declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity.

Intangible Cultural Heritage as it has the Garifuna Cuenca, Dance Drama Rabinal Achi and Ceremonial La P'aach.

Order Cultural Heritage was established by the Ministry of Culture and Sports during the administration of President Alvaro Arzu, to be awarded annually to individuals as individuals and institutions that have excelled in conservation, protection and dissemination of cultural heritage of Guatemala being the highest honor that the state of Guatemala grants in culture.


Movable Cultural Property are exemplary collections and objects that interest and scientific importance are of value to the different branches of science. Among these may be mentioned the product of aquatic and terrestrial excavations or explorations of archaeological or paleontological nature, Sean is authorized in the.

Also, all those artistic and cultural assets that are related to the history of our country, as paints, sculptures, original drawings, manuscripts, the sacred art, old books, Maps, photographs, recorded, all documentary material such as newspapers and magazines, musical instruments and antique furniture, inter alia.


It is known as Intangible Cultural Heritage to all institutions, traditions and customs such as the oral tradition, musical, medicinal, artisanal, culinary, nun, dance, theater, which are so characteristic of a specific people or community.

National Order of Cultural Heritage of Guatemala

To recognize the work of the people and national and foreign institutions dedicated to the conservation, release, recovery and protection of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation, Year 1999 is created and Executive Order establishing the "National Order of Cultural Heritage of Guatemala".

This recognition is awarded by the President of the Republic, accompanied by the Ministers of Culture and Sports and External Relations.

Some of the recipients of the Order

  • In 2012 was delivered to “Chronicler of the City” and historian Miguel Alfredo Álvarez Arévalo, current Director of the National Museum of History.
  • In 2008 was awarded the Doctor of Archaeology, Juan Antonio Valdez researcher, university professor, writer and director of archaeological projects.
  • On 2007 Group received wanaragua preserve, protect and disseminate the Garifuna Culture.
  • In 2006 Drivers of the Modern Architecture and Contemporary was awarded: Roberto Aycinena Echeverría, Carlos Alberto Haeussler Uribio, Córdova Jorge Montes, Raul Herrera Minondo, Pelayo Llerena Murúa y Jorge Molina Sinibaldi, inter alia.

Guatemala is a country that has a Cultural and Natural Heritage unique and unmatched in the world, that is why each of us and Guatemalans Guatemalan be proud and proud of this great historical legacy, artistic, cultural and natural that we have inherited from our ancestors, which distinguishes us from other peoples and countries.

Meet our Cultural and Natural Heritage as a country, is to defend, to Guatemala is recognized worldwide for the great cultural contribution to humanity.

Culture, Motor del Desarrollo Integral.

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-Ministry of Culture and Sports