Guatemala City is home to many of the nation's libraries and museums, including the National Archives, the National Library, and the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, which has an extensive collection of Maya artifacts. It also boasts private museums such as the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing and the Museo Popol Vuh, which focuses on Maya archaeology. Both these museums are housed on the Universidad Francisco Marroquín campus. Most of the 329 municipalities in the country have at least a small museum.
Guatemala has produced many indigenous artists who follow centuries-old Pre-Columbian traditions. Reflecting Guatemala's colonial and post-colonial history, encounters with multiple global art movements also have produced a wealth of artists who have combined the traditional primitivist or naive aesthetic with European, North American, and other traditions.
The Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas "Rafael Rodríguez Padilla" is Guatemala's leading art school, and several leading indigenous artists, also graduates of that school, have work in the permanent collection of the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in the capital city. Contemporary Guatemalan artists who have gained reputations outside of Guatemala include Dagoberto Vásquez, Luis Rolando Ixquiac Xicara, Carlos Mérida, Aníbal López, Roberto González Goyri, and Elmar René Rojas.
- The Guatemala National Prize in Literature is a one-time-only award that recognizes an individual writer's body of work. It has been given annually since 1988 by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
- Miguel Ángel Asturias won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1967. Among his famous books is El Señor Presidente, a novel based on the government of Manuel Estrada Cabrera.
- Rigoberta Menchú, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting oppression of indigenous people in Guatemala, is famous for her books I, Rigoberta Menchú and Crossing Borders.
Media and news
Major national newspapers in Guatemala include Prensa Libre, El Periodico and Siglo21. The Guatemala Times is a digital English news magazine. Guatemala also has a few major local channels and radio stations, such as one of Guatemala's major radio stations, Emisoras Unidas.
Guatemalan music comprises a number of styles and expressions. Guatemalan social change has been empowered by music such as nueva cancion, which blends together histories, present-day issues, and the political values and struggles of common people. The Maya had an intense musical practice, as documented by their iconography. Guatemala was also one of the first regions in the New World to be introduced to European music, from 1524 on. Many composers from the Renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary music styles have contributed works of all genres. The marimba is the national instrument; it has developed a large repertoire of very attractive pieces that have been popular for more than a century.
The Historia General de Guatemala has published a series of CDs compiling the historical music of Guatemala, in which every style is represented, from the Maya, colonial, independent and republican eras to the present. Many contemporary music groups in Guatemala play Caribbean music, salsa, Garifuna-influenced punta, Latin pop, Mexican regional, and mariachi.
Many traditional foods in Guatemalan cuisine are based on Mayan cuisine and prominently feature maize, chilies and black beans as key ingredients. Traditional dishes also include a variety of stews including Kak'ik (Kak-ik), which is a tomato-based stew with turkey, pepian, and cocido. Guatemala is also known for its antojitos, which include small tamales called chuchitos, fried plantains, and tostadas with tomato sauce, guacamole or black beans. Certain foods are also commonly eaten on certain days of the week; for example, a popular custom is to eat paches (a kind of tamale made from potatoes) on Thursday. Certain dishes are also associated with special occasions, such as fiambre for All Saints' Day on 1 November, or tamales and ponche (fruit punch), which are both very common around Christmas.
Football is the most popular sport in Guatemala and its national team has appeared in 18 editions of the CONCACAF Championship, winning it once, in 1967. However, the team has failed to qualify to a FIFA World Cup so far. Established in 1919, the National Football Federation of Guatemala organizes the country's national league and its lower-level competitions.
Futsal is probably the most successful team sport in Guatemala. Its national team won the 2008 CONCACAF Futsal Championship as hosts. It was also the runner-up in 2012 as hosts and won the bronze medal in 2016.
Guatemala participated for the first time in the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2000, as hosts, and has played in every competition from 2008 onwards. It has never passed the first round. It has also participated in every Grand Prix de Futsal since 2009, reaching the semifinals in 2014.
The Guatemalan Olympic Committee was founded in 1947 and recognized by the International Olympic Committee that same year. Guatemala participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics, and in every edition since the 1968 Summer Olympics. It has also appeared in a single Winter Olympics edition, in 1988.
Erick Barrondo won the only Olympic medal for Guatemala so far, silver in race walking at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Guatemala also keeps national sports teams in several disciplines.