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French Guatemalan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

France French Guatemalan Guatemala
Regions with significant populations
Guatemala City, Antigua Guatemala and Quetzaltenango
Spanish and French
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
French people, White Guatemalan, Guatemalans

A French Guatemalan is a citizen of Guatemala who has French ancestry. Guatemalans of French descent make up the third largest European-descended group in Guatemala, after the German Guatemalans and Spanish Guatemalans. According to the French embassy, as of 31 December 2010, there are 803 French citizens in Guatemala.[1]


The history of the French in Guatemala is divided into three periods of migratory waves.

The late eighteenth century

After the French Revolution, capitalists and entrepreneurs came to create coffee plantations in several countries of America; in Guatemala, the first of these were situated in the department of San Marcos in the southern highlands.[2]

The French Revolution introduced new political concepts and aims which formed the basis for the platforms of the liberal, radical and democratic parties of most of the world and therefore of Guatemala. These ideas had great influence on revolutionary movements on Hispanic America.[3]

Independence era

French veterans of the Napoleonic Wars and the Spanish American wars of independence (such as Nicolas Raoul, Isidoro Saget, and Henri Terralonge) offered their services during the independence wars.[4] Initial diplomatic contact between France and Central America began in 1827; full diplomatic relations were established in 1830. This led to the arrival of French merchants, professionals, and tradesmen. Many of them married local women, which led to an increase in the number of Guatemalan people of French descent.[4] Later some French politicians moved to Guatemala City during the wars between liberals and conservatives. When the Federal Republic of Central America was divided, some French migrated to Costa Rica and Nicaragua although the majority remained in Guatemala.

Twentieth century

It is estimated that by 1900 there were approximately 8,000 French immigrants in Mesoamerica, three fourths of them in Mexico and nearly a fifth in Guatemala.[5] The presidency of General José María Reina Barrios, who was educated in Paris, began a revival of diplomatic relations between France and Central America. In 1920, after the triumph of the Unionist movement, several Guatemalan families of French origin came together to found a branch the Alliance Francaise in Guatemala City.[4]


Many Guatemalans of French descent still preserve the French language and customs and traditions of France. A large majority belong to the Catholic religion, though there are Protestant, Jewish and Muslim minorities. Over 800 French people are estimated to live in Guatemala, making it the third largest French community in Central America, behind Panama and Costa Rica.

Notable French Guatemalans

Guatemala–France relations

The language and arts

School Jules Verne in Fraijanes, department of Guatemala.
School Jules Verne in Fraijanes, department of Guatemala.

The Alliance Française and the Lycée Français Jules Verne are dedicated to the promotion of French culture and Francophonie in Guatemala in its various expressions: performing arts (music, theater, dance), visual arts (exhibitions, performances, film), lectures, discussions (literature, debates) and training (workshops, residences).[6]

The French Embassy in Guatemala

The French Embassy in Guatemala is responsible for maintaining both cultural and diplomatic relations between France and Guatemala. It provides grants and scholarships for study in France. The current French ambassador to Guatemala is Philippe Franc.[7]

French and Franco-Guatemalan associations

There are several associations:[8]

  • Sección local de la Union de Franceses del Extranjero (UFE)
  • Sociedad Francesa de Beneficencia (SFB)
  • Guatem’accueil
  • Asociación de ex-estudiantes en Francia (AEF)
  • Establecimiento escolar francés Lycée Jules Verne
  • Alianza francesa de Guatemala
  • Alianza francesa de la Antigua
  • Alianza francesa de Quetzaltenango
  • Antena del Centro francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos (CEMCA)


Lycée Français Jules Verne, a French international school, is located in Fraijanes, Guatemala.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Répartition par pays de la population française inscrite au registre au 31 décembre 2010 Archived 2015-06-26 at the Wayback Machine Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international
  2. ^ Wagner, Regina (noviembre de 2001). Histoire café du Guatemala. Bogota, D,C, Colombie: Anacafe. pp. 203, 207. ISBN 958-96982-8-X.
  3. ^ Valenzuela Guzmán, Maribel Alejandrina (October 2008). "La Revolución francesa" (PDF). Biblioteca Central, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.
  4. ^ a b c Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica (AFEHC) Relaciones entre Francia y Guatemala (1823-1954) Guatemala, 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  5. ^ [1] México-France. ISBN 968-6029-78-8
  6. ^ French Culture in Guatemala-French Alliance Retrieved.16/04/2015
  7. ^ The French embassy in Guatemala
  8. ^ "The French and Franco-Guatemalans Associations". Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  9. ^ "Lieu et accès." Lycée Français Jules Verne. Retrieved on 18 January 2015. ""1a Avenida 2-62 Zona1, Aldea Don Justo Km. 18.5 a San Jose Pinula 01062 FRAIJANES"
This page was last edited on 29 September 2020, at 19:56
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