Guatemala – tough negotiators!

Guatemala – tough negotiators!

Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico, Belize, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean and Honduras and El Salvador. It has an estimated population of nearly 16 million, making it the most populous state in Central America, and its capital and largest city is Guatemala City.

From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a civil war between the government and leftist rebels. Since the war ended, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, and instability.

Although Spanish is the official language, and is spoken by 93% of the population, it is not universally spoken among the indigenous population, nor is it often spoken as a second language by the elderly indigenous. Twenty-one Mayan languages are spoken, especially in rural areas, as well as two non-Mayan Amerindian languages.

Guatemala has an abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems, many of which are endemic; the country is also known for its rich culture, characterised by a fusion of Spanish and indigenous influences. In recent years, the exporter sector of nontraditional products has grown dynamically, representing more than 53% of global exports. Some of the main products for export are coffee, sugar, textiles, vegetables and fruit. The agricultural sector accounts for about two-fifths of exports, and half of the labour force.

Tourism has become an increasing source of revenue for Guatemala, but remittances from Guatemalans who fled to the United States during the civil war now constitute the largest single source of foreign income.

Guatemala business is hierarchical, which plays a pivotal role in the structure and pace of decision-making. Job functions, roles and responsibilities are well defined and respected. It is advisable to include an executive on your negotiating team, which will impress Guatemalans who can be status-conscious. They are also known to be uncompromising negotiators!

Share your Guatemalan business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia,, Kwintessential

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