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Coordinates: 15 ° 19 ′  N , 91 ° 28 ′  W
Map: Guatemala
Huehuetenango on the map of Guatemala
Basic data
Country Guatemala
Department Departments
City foundation 1524
Residents 58,000  (2002)
Detailed data
height 1900  m
Waters Río Selegua
Time zone UTC −6
City patron Virgen del Carmen
Gobernación Departamental, Huehuetenango
Gobernación Departamental, Huehuetenango
Zaculeu ruins
Zaculeu ruins

Huehuetenango is a city in northwestern Guatemala and the capital of the department of the same name .


Huehuetenango is located 269 km northwest of Guatemala City near the border with Mexico on a plateau surrounded by mountains at about 1900 meters above sea ​​level . Immediately to the north rises the mountain range of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes running in a west-east direction , an offshoot of the Sierra Madre , which in turn lies a little further south and west. The Río Selegua rises between the mountains at Huehuetenango and flows in a north-westerly direction to Chiapas .


In 2002, the department capital had around 58,000 inhabitants. Huehuetenango is the administrative seat of the large municipality of the same name ( Municipio ), which has an area of ​​204 km² and around 81,000 inhabitants (2002). The Municipio is divided into Aldeas (rural communities) and Caseríos, Parajes or Fincas ( hamlets and farms ). Ladinos predominate in the city , while Mam - Maya live in the country .


Huehuetenango was founded in 1525 by the Spanish colonizers after the conquest of Zaculeu , the capital of the Mam, in the immediate vicinity. The city's name probably goes to Gonzalo de Alvarado's Mexican mercenaries back to the Mayan name Xinabajul ( "Between the gorges") to Ahuehuetlenango ( "place of the old ones") botched . The ruins of Zaculeu are now a tourist attraction. Many descendants of the Mam-Maya still live in and around Huehuetenango today. They were badly affected by the civil war that raged between 1960 and 1996 , especially during the short, gruesome tenure of President Efraín Ríos Montt from Huehuetenango .

The Fiestas Julias in honor of the patron saint Virgen del Carmen are celebrated annually on July 16.

Economy and Transport

Huehuetenango is the most important commercial and service center in the department. The market in the old town is of national importance, especially for agricultural products. Coffee in particular is processed and marketed in the city. Huehuetenango is known for making musical instruments , especially first-class guitars . Huehuetenango benefits from tourism because it is usually the starting point for tours in the Cuchumatanes and the Mam fortress Zaculeu is only 5 km west of the city. The sights of the city are limited to the Parque Central with the cathedral , the town hall ( Palacio Municipal ) and the building of the department administration ( Gobernación Departamental ) with its clock tower .

About 5 km southwest of the Panamericana (CA 1 Interamericana ) passes Huehuetenango, which connects the city with Mexico, Guatemala City and the rest of the highlands. From Chiantla, a few kilometers to the northeast, you can reach the Cuchumatanes Mountains and the sparsely populated, poorly developed north of the department via national road 9, and the departments of Quiché and Alta Verapaz via national road 7, which leads east . Huehuetenango has an airfield for general aviation .

The headquarters of the 5th Brigada de Infantería “Mariscal Gregorio Solares” of the Guatemalan Army is located in the city .

Town twinning

  • since 1993: Ravensburg (Germany); unofficial partnership (projects especially for literacy )

sons and daughters of the town

Web links