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Republic of Guatemala Central America and the Caribbean Guatemala City 14,647,083 inhabitants 108,889 sq km 134.51 inhabitants/sq km quetzales (GTQ) population evolution

Famous people from Guatemala

Here is a list of famous people from Guatemala. Curious if anybody from Guatemala made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Miguel Ángel Asturias


Miguel Angel Asturias Rosales was a Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan poet, novelist, playwright, journalist and diplomat. Asturias helped establish Latin American literature's contribution to mainstream Western culture, and at the same time drew attention to the importance of indigenous cultures, especially those of his native Guatemala. Asturias was born and raised in Guatemala though he lived a significant part of his adult life abroad. He first lived in Paris in the 1920s where he studied anthropology and Indian mythology. Some scholars view him as the first Latin American novelist to show how the study of anthropology and linguistics could affect the writing of literature. While in Paris, Asturias also associated with the Surrealist movement, and he is credited with introducing many features of modernist style into Latin American letters. In this way, he is an important precursor of the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s. One of Asturias' most famous novels, El Señor Presidente, describes life under a ruthless dictator. Asturias' very public opposition to dictatorial rule led to him spending much of his later life in exile, both in South America and in Europe. The book that is sometimes described as his masterpiece, Hombres de maíz, is a defense of Mayan culture and customs. Asturias combined his extensive knowledge of Mayan beliefs with his political convictions, channeling them into a life of commitment and solidarity. His work is often identified with the social and moral aspirations of the Guatemalan people.

Oscar Isaac


Oscar Isaac is a Guatemalan-Cuban American actor and singer.

Efraín Ríos Montt


José Efraín Ríos Montt is a former de facto President of Guatemala, dictator, army general and former president of Congress. A General in the Guatemalan Army, Ríos Montt came to public office through a coup d'état on March 23, 1982. In turn, he was overthrown by his Defense Minister, Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, in another coup d'état on August 8, 1983. In the 2003 presidential elections, he unsuccessfully ran as the candidate of the Guatemalan Republican Front. In 2007 Ríos Montt returned to public office as a member of Congress, gaining prosecutorial immunity, including from a pair of long-running lawsuits alleging war crimes against him and a number of his former ministers and counselors during their term in the presidential palace in 1982-83. His immunity ended on January 14, 2012, when his term in office ran out. On January 26, 2012 Ríos Montt appeared in court in Guatemala and was formally indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity. Huehuetenango-born Ríos Montt remains one of the most controversial figures in Guatemala. Two Truth Commissions, the REMHI report, sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, and the CEH report, conducted by the United Nations as part of the 1996 Accords of Firm and Durable Peace, documented widespread human rights abuses committed by Ríos Montt's military regime, including widespread massacres, rape, torture, and acts of genocide against the indigenous population. Supporters maintain that there was no genocide, just a bloody civil war. Ríos Montt, at times, had close ties to the United States, receiving direct and indirect support from certain of its agencies, including the CIA.

Carlos Ruiz


Carlos Humberto Ruiz Gutiérrez, initially nicknamed El Pescadito but gradually known as just Pescado or "Fish", is a Guatemalan footballer who last played for D.C. United in the Major League Soccer. A product of CSD Municipal's "cantera", Ruiz has also played for four Major League Soccer clubs, scoring 87 goals in 168 MLS regular season matches and 16 goals in the post-season, which is the record for the most post-season goals in MLS history. In 2002, he was named the MLS' Most Valuable Player of the season. Ruiz was also been a member of the Guatemalan national team beginning in 1998, later becoming its captain and all-time top scorer, and being part of four World Cup qualification processes. As of 2012 he has retired from international play.

Jacobo Árbenz


Colonel Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was a Guatemalan military officer and politician who served as Defense Minister of Guatemala from 1944 to 1951, and as President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954. He was ousted in a coup d'état engineered by the United States government and CIA and was replaced by a military junta headed by Colonel Carlos Castillo. He went into exile after the coup and died in Mexico in 1971.

Marco Pappa

Soccer Midfielder

Marco Pablo Pappa Ponce is a Guatemalan footballer who plays for the Dutch club SC Heerenveen in Eredivisie and is a member of the Guatemala national team.

Otto Pérez Molina


Otto Fernando Pérez Molina is a Guatemalan politician and retired military officer who has been President of Guatemala since January 14, 2012. Standing as the Patriotic Party candidate, he lost the 2007 presidential election but prevailed in the 2011 presidential election. During the 1990s, before entering politics, he served as Director of Military Intelligence, Presidential Chief of Staff under President Ramiro de Leon Carpio, and as chief representative of the military for the Guatemalan Peace Accords. During his presidency, amongst his activities was a controversial call for the legalisation of drugs.

Alfonso Portillo


Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera is a Guatemalan politician. He served as the President of the Republic of Guatemala from 2000 to 2004. He took office on 14 January 2000, representing the Guatemalan Republican Front, the party led by retired general and former military ruler Efraín Ríos Montt.

Gaby Moreno

Blues Artist

Maria Gabriela Moreno Bonilla, known as Gaby Moreno, is a Guatemalan singer-songwriter and guitarist. Her music ranges from blues, jazz, soul to R&B, . Moreno sings both in English and Spanish. She has recently become known to a broader audience in Latin America, after recording a song with Ricardo Arjona. In 2013, she recorded a duet with Hugh Laurie, for his new album Didn't It Rain, a cover of the popular song "Kiss Of Fire".

Jorge Ubico


Jorge Ubico y Castañeda was President of Guatemala from 14 February 1931 to 4 July 1944.

Álvaro Colom


Álvaro Colom Caballeros is a Guatemalan politician who was the President of Guatemala from 2008 to 2012, as well as leader of the social-democratic National Unity of Hope.

Rafael Carrera


José Rafael Carrera Turcios was the ruler of Guatemala from 1844 to 1848 and from 1851 until his death in 1865. During his military career and presidency, the new nations in Central America faced numerous problems. This led to a rise of caudillos, a term that refers to charismatic populist leaders among the indigenous people. Many regional and national caudillos were interested in power for their own gain. Carrera was an exception as he genuinely took the interests of Guatemala's Indian majority to heart. Backed by the Church, conservatives, and land owners, he dominated politics in the first five decades of Guatemala's independence more than any other individual. He led the revolt against the federal government and was instrumental in breaking up the United Provinces of Central America.

Luis von Ahn

Computer Scientist

Luis von Ahn is a Guatemalan entrepreneur and an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known as one of the pioneers of crowdsourcing. He is the founder of the company reCAPTCHA, which was sold to Google in 2009. As a professor, his research includes CAPTCHAs and human computation, and has earned him international recognition and numerous honors. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 2009, a Sloan Fellowship in 2009, and a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship in 2007, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012. He has also been named one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover Magazine, and has made it to many recognition lists that include Popular Science Magazine's Brilliant 10,'s 50 Most Influential People in Technology, Technology Review's TR35: Young Innovators Under 35, and FastCompany's 100 Most Innovative People in Business. Siglo Veintiuno, one of the biggest newspapers in Guatemala, chose him as the person of the year in 2009. In 2011, Foreign Policy Magazine in Spanish named him the most influential intellectual of Latin America and Spain.

Erick Barrondo

Olympic athlete

Erick Bernabé Barrondo García is a Guatemalan racewalker who competes in the 20 km walk and 50 km walk events. He won the silver medal at the Men's 20km Racewalk in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic medal in Guatemala's history.

Juan José Arévalo


Juan José Arévalo Bermejo was the first of the reformist presidents of Guatemala. Preceded by military junta interregnum after a definitive pro-democracy revolt in 1944. Arévalo's 1944 election is considered by historians the first fair and democratic election in Guatemala's republican history; since independence from Spain, the country had seen a series of dictatorships. Arévalo served as President from 15 March 1945 to 15 March 1951. Arévalo's administration was marked by unprecedented relatively free political life during his six-year term. Arévalo, an educator and philosopher, understood the need for advancement in individuals, communities, and nations by practical means. Before his presidency, Arévalo had been an exiled university professor. He returned to Guatemala to help in the reconstructive efforts of the new post-Ubíco government, especially in the areas of social security and drafting of a new Constitution. His philosophy of "spiritual socialism," referred to as Arevalísmo, may be considered less an economic system than a movement toward the liberation of the imagination of oppressed Latin America. In the post-World War II period, internationalist players such as the United States regarded Arevalísmo socialism as Communism, and therefore cause for unease and alarm, which garnered support from neighboring satellite caudillos such as Anastasio Somoza García.

Carlos Castillo Armas


Carlos Castillo Armas was a Guatemalan military officer who seized power in a CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954. He held the title of President of Guatemala from July 8, 1954 until his assassination in 1957.

Juan Carlos Alvarado

Musical Artist

Juan Carlos Alvarado is a famous Christian Pop singer, well recognized by his unforgettable songs, such as: Cristo no esta muerto, El borde de su manto, No Basta, Vivo para Cristo,"Soy deudor","Santo es el Señor", and among others.

Soluna Samay

Folk rock Artist

Soluna Samay Kettel is a Guatemalan-Danish singer. Samay represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan with her entry "Should've Known Better."

Óscar Berger


Óscar José Rafael Berger Perdomo, born on 11 August 1946 in Guatemala City, is a former President of Guatemala.

Gia Darling

Pornographic actor

Gia Darling is a transsexual adult film actress, director, and producer.

Manuel Estrada Cabrera


Manuel José Estrada Cabrera was President of Guatemala from 1898 to 1920. He was a strong ruler, who modernised the country’s industry and transport, but only by granting concessions to the American-owned United Fruit Company, whose influence on the government was felt by many to be excessive. Cabrera used increasingly brutal methods to assert his authority, including armed strike-breaking, and the general elections were effectively controlled by him. He was eventually removed from office when the national assembly declared him mentally incompetent, and he was jailed for corruption.

Jorge Serrano Elías


Jorge Antonio Serrano Elías was President of Guatemala from January 14, 1991 to May 31, 1993.

Ted Hendricks

American Football Player

Theodore "Ted" Paul Hendricks is a former American football linebacker who played 15 seasons for the Baltimore Colts, the Green Bay Packers and the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders in the National Football League. He was a member of four Super Bowl-winning teams, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

Justo Rufino Barrios


Justo Rufino Barrios was a President of Guatemala known for his liberal reforms and his attempts to reunite Central America. Barrios was born in the village of San Lorenzo, in the department of San Marcos. He was known from his youth for his intellect and energy, went to Guatemala City to study law, and became a lawyer in 1862. In 1867, revolt broke out in western Guatemala, which many residents wished to return to its former status of an independent state as Los Altos. Barrios joined with the rebels in Quetzaltenango, and soon proved himself a capable military leader, and in time gained the rank of general in the rebel army. In July 1871, Barrios, together with other generals and dissidents, issued the "Plan for the Fatherland" proposing to overthrow Guatemala's long entrenched Conservadora administration; soon after, they succeeded in doing so, and General García Granados was declared president and Barrios commander of the armed forces. While Barrios was back in Quetzaltenago, García Granados was overthrown by a revolt. Barrios again marched on the capital and became the new president. The Conservative government in Honduras gave military backing to a group of Guatemalan Conservatives wishing to take back the government, so Barrios declared war on the Honduran government. At the same time, Barrios, together with President Luis Bogran of Honduras, declared an intention to reunify the old United Provinces of Central America.

Dwight Pezzarossi

Soccer Forward

Dwight Anthony Pezzarossi García born is a retired professional football forward who last played for Comunicaciones in the Liga Nacional de Guatemala. Target man Pezzarossi, nicknamed El Tanque, started his footballing career with Guatemalan lower division club Deportivo Escuintla. He spent one year there before signing for a club in the top Guatemalan league, Comunicaciones. In 2000, Pezzarossi was signed by Argentinos Juniors and he become in one of few Guatemalan players in play abroad. Then, in June 2001, Pezzarossi moved to Chilean side Palestino.

Carlos Merida

Painting Artist

Carlos Mérida was a Guatemalan/Mexican artists who was one of the first to fuse European modern painting to Latin American themes, especially those related to Guatemala and Mexico. He was part of the Mexican muralism movement in subject matter but less so in style, favoring a non-figurative and later geometric style rather than a figurative, narrative style. Mérida is best known for canvas and mural work, the latter including elements such as glass and ceramic mosaic on major constructions in the 1950s and 1960s. One of his major works, 4000m2 on the Benito Juarez housing complex, was completely destroyed with the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, but a monument to it exists at another complex in the south of the city.

Manny Marroquin

Mix engineer

Manny Marroquin is a Guatemalan-born American mixing engineer. He has received five Grammy awards for his professional audio work.

Vinicio Cerezo


Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo is a Guatemalan politician. He served as President of Guatemala from 14 January 1986 to 14 January 1991. He was the first president of the modern democratic era.

Michael Kaluta


Michael William Kaluta, sometimes credited as Mike Kaluta or Michael Wm. Kaluta, is an American comic book artist and writer best known for his acclaimed 1970s adaptation of the pulp magazine hero, The Shadow with writer Dennis O'Neil.

Guillermo Ramírez

Soccer Midfielder

Guillermo "El Pando" Ramírez Ortega is a Guatemalan former soccer player who was suspended for life from any soccer related activities due to his participation in money laundering and fixing games along with fellow national team members Yony Flores and Gustavo Cabrera. Ramírez was also the captain of the Guatemala national team and is currently Guatemala's most capped player of all time.

José Milla y Vidaurre


José Milla y Vidaurre was one of the most outstanding Guatemalan writers in the 19th century. He was also known by the name Pepe Milla and the pseudonym Salomé Jil. Milla grew up in a time of great instability, where the struggles between liberals and conservatives were bringing chaos to Guatemala. He came from a well-to-do family and was not a politically relevant figure. However, it is known that he had conservative tendencies and came to public office under conservative governments. His works can be qualified under various literary genres, although they were mainly dedicated to story-telling, novels and more specifically historical novels. His main theme was life in the colonial Guatemala. His "novelas costumbristas" are about the customs of Guatemalan people during colonial times and during the first years after Guatemalan independence. In his works, he shows an ability for story-telling and imagination. For him, one of the main functions of literature was to entertain and his books are examples of such function. Jose Milla was well-educated, an expert of Guatemalan idiosyncrasies, its history and its customs.

Mariano Gálvez


José Felipe Mariano Gálvez was a jurist and Liberal politician in Guatemala. For two consecutive terms from August 28, 1831 to March 3, 1838 he was chief of state of the State of Guatemala, within the Federal Republic of Central America.

Ramiro de León Carpio


Ramiro de León Carpio was the President of Guatemala from 6 June 1993 until 14 January 1996.

Héctor Sandarti

TV Actor

Héctor Sandarti is a Guatemalan television host and actor who was the host of the Spanish-language version of Deal or No Deal called Vas o No Vas on the Telemundo Network in the USA. He held similar duties in 2004–2006 for a Mexican version which aired on Televisa. He also worked in Hospital el paisa with Galilea Montijo.He has also hosted "Vida TV" for the TV network as well as a Mexican version of Big Brother. Other hosting duties included Atinale al Precio after original host Marco Antonio Regil left in 1999; and the comedy show Objetos Perdidos.

Luis Cardoza y Aragón


Luis Cardoza y Aragón was a Guatemalan writer, essayist, poet, art critic, and diplomat born in Antigua Guatemala but who spent a good part of his life living in exile in Mexico. Cardoza attended primary school in Antigua Guatemala and at the Colegio Centroamericano in Guatemala City. His received a secondary education in the city's Instituto Nacional Central para Varones. In the 1920s, Cardoza moved to Paris, France where he became friends with André Breton. Influenced by the avant-garde members of the surrealist movement, his first work titled "Luna Park" was published in 1923 and dedicated to the Guatemalan writer Enrique Gómez Carrillo. He also got to know fellow Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias who came to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. Decades later in 1991 Cardoza wrote a book entitled Miguel Ángel Asturias, Casi Novela about their time in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s that earned him the 1992 Mazatlan Literature award in Mexico.

Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio


Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio was President of Guatemala from 1 July 1970 to 1 July 1974. Carlos Arana was born in Barberena, in the department of Santa Rosa. A colonel in the Army, he was elected in an electoral process generally considered "non-transparent" on a platform promising a crackdown on law-and-order issues and stability; his vice president was Eduardo Cáceres. In November 1970, Arana imposed a "State of Siege" which was followed by heightened counterinsurgency measures. The counterinsurgency campaign was sustained through continued large-scale military support from the United States, which provided weapons, technical support and military advisors to the security forces under Arana to assists in fighting the guerrillas. The systematic use of state-terrorism and which emerged in 1966 under President Julio César Méndez persisted under Arana; government-sponsored "death squads" remained active and the security forces regularly detained, disappeared, tortured and extrajudicially executed political opponents, student leaders, suspected guerrilla sympathizers and trade unionists. It is estimated that over 20,000 Guatemalans were killed or "disappeared" under the Arana administration.

Juan José Gerardi Conedera

Religious Leader

Monsignor Juan José Gerardi Conedera was a Guatemalan Roman Catholic bishop and human rights defender who was long active in working with the indigenous Mayan peoples of the country. In the 1970s he gained government recognition of indigenous languages as official languages, and helped secure permission for radio stations to broadcast in indigenous languages. In 1988 he was appointed to the government's National Reconciliation Commission, to begin the process of accounting for abuses during the civil war. He also worked on the associated Recovery of Historical Memory Project sponsored by the Catholic Church. Two days after he announced the release of its report on victims of the Guatemalan Civil War, Guatemala: Nunca Más!, in April 1998, Bishop Gerardi was attacked in his garage and beaten to death. In 2001, in the first trial in civil court of members of the military in Guatemalan history, three Army officers were convicted of his death and sentenced to long prison terms. A priest was convicted as an accomplice and also sentenced.

Juan Carlos Plata


Juan Carlos Plata is a Guatemalan retired football striker. He is the highest-scoring player in the history of Guatemala's top division. As of January 2010, Plata has, except for Marc Lloyd-Williams, been the most prolific scorer among all active players in the world in top division leagues, and is among the top 60 goalscorers of all time in the world according to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. He is also the second-highest goalscorer in the history of the Guatemala national team behind Carlos Ruiz. Plata played all of his professional club career for CSD Municipal and is also the all-time top goalscorer for that club; he has broken virtually every scoring record associated with professional football in Guatemala. He also has won 15 domestic league titles, 5 domestic cup titles, and 2 international titles playing for Municipal.

Gustavo Adolfo Cabrera


Gustavo Adolfo Cabrera Marroquín is a Guatemalan football defender who currently plays for Deportivo Marquense in the Liga Nacional de Guatemala and was also a member of the Guatemala national team. On 12 September 2012 he was banned from play for life due to allegations of match-fixing.

Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores


Brigadier General Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores was the 27th President of Guatemala from 8 August 1983 to 14 January 1986. A member of the military, he was President of Guatemala during a time of increased repression and death squad activity. When he was minister of defense, he rallied a coup against José Efraín Ríos Montt, then president of Guatemala, which he justified by declaring that the government was being abused by religious fanatics. He allowed a return to democracy, with elections for a constituent assembly in 1984 followed by general elections in 1985. Along with former Presidents José Efraín Ríos Montt and Fernando Romeo Lucas García, President Mejía has been charged with murder, kidnapping, and genocide in the Spanish court system.

Virgilio Rodríguez Macal

Deceased Person

Virgilio Rodríguez Macal was a Guatemalan writer, journalist, and diplomat who won various international and national prizes. As a novelist he is noted for integrating his deep knowledge of Mesoamerican and Guatemalan history and geography into his stories, often setting his novels in colorful Guatemalan jungle settings including its biologically rich flora and fauna.

Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano


Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano was a Guatemalan attorney. Before his death, Rosenberg recorded a video message saying if he were murdered, Álvaro Colom Caballeros, President of Guatemala, Gustavo Alejos, Sandra Torres de Colom, and Gregorio Valdés would have been directly responsible. His subsequent killing caused a national uproar. After an investigation by a United Nations commission, officials declared that Rosenberg had arranged his own death and had contacted cousins of his former wife, Francisco José Ramón Valdés Paiz and José Estuardo Valdés Paiz to hire a hitman. Carlos Castresana, the head of the CICIG, the United Nations Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, who headed the investigation at that time, emphasized that this was a provisional hypothesis. The cousins accused were sent to jail for complicity in a hearing behind closed doors, where they have remained without a trial for more than two years. Further investigation by the same commission has turned up links between the killers that shot Rosenberg and those of Marjorie and Khalil Musa. Two of the killers who took part in both killings and had originally changed their testimony to accuse the Valdés Paiz brothers have accused the Public Ministry of Guatemala and the United Nations Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala of pressuring them to accuse the Valdés Paiz brothers.

Enrique Gómez Carrillo

Deceased Person

Enrique Gómez Carrillo was a Guatemalan literary critic, writer, journalist and diplomat, and the second husband of the Salvadoran-French writer and artist Consuelo Suncin de Sandoval-Cardenas, later Consuelo Suncin, comtesse de Saint Exupéry. He also became notable for his travels and bohemian lifestyle.

Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes


General José Miguel Ramón Ydígoras Fuentes was President of Guatemala from 2 March 1958 to 31 March 1963. He took power following the murder of Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas. In the 1950 election, Ydígoras had been the main opponent of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán and finished runner-up with nearly 19% of the vote. In 1957, following the assassination of Castillo Armas, elections were held in which Ydígoras and his party, the National Democratic Reconciliation Party, finished runner-up in a blatantly rigged election. Another election in 1958 saw Ydígoras win, considered to have represented the more moderate of the anti-Communist "right" factions. In July 1958 a senior CIA Chief described Ygídoras as, "known to be a moody, almost schizophrenic individual" who "regularly disregards the advice of his Cabinet and other close associates". In response to Ygídoras' autocratic rule and his close ties to the United States, a group of junior army officers led a rebellion in 1960. Although the rebellion was successfully put down, the surviving officers went into hiding and formed the Revolutionary Movement 13th November, marking the start of a 36-year guerrilla war.

Rafael Arévalo Martínez


Rafael Arévalo Martínez was a Guatemalan writer: a novelist, short-story writer, poet, diplomat, and director of Guatemala’s national library for more than 20 years. Though Arévalo Martínez’s fame has waned, he is still considered important because of his short stories, one in particular, The man who resembled a horse.

Otto René Castillo


Otto René Castillo was a Guatemalan poet and revolutionary.

Lennart Poettering


Lennart Poettering is a German computer programmer. He is best known for his work on free and open source software including PulseAudio, a sound server, the systemd replacement for the System V init daemon, and Avahi, an implementation of the zeroconf protocol for network device discovery.

Mario Rafael Rodríguez

Soccer Midfielder

Mario Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez is a Guatemalan football midfielder. He currently plays for the local club CSD Municipal. Rodríguez has played locally for CSD Comunicaciones and in Major League Soccer for Columbus Crew. He is also a member of the Guatemala national team.

Izabel Acevedo


Izabel Acevedo is a film director and screenwriter.

Norma Torres


Norma J. Torres is an American politician. She is currently a member of the California State Senate representing the 32nd district. She is a Democrat. Torres was born in Guatemala. When she was five, her mother died, and she, her father, and her two brothers relocated to Los Angeles. She worked as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, where in 1994 she led a campaign to require the hiring of bilingual 911 operators. She was an active member of AFSCME, serving as local 3090's shop steward. She served on the Pomona city council prior to being elected the city's mayor in 2006. In 2008, she endorsed then-presidential candidate Barack Obama before Hillary Clinton withdrew from the race, and was a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention She was elected to the state assembly in November 2008, filling the vacancy left by former legislator Nell Soto, who retired. She was 2008/09 Treasurer for the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. On 21 November 2007 she appeared on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, with Lela's restaurant.

Frank William La Rue


Frank La Rue is a Guatamalan labor and human rights lawyer currently serving as UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, a position he has held since August 2008. He is the founder of the Center for Legal Action for Human Rights and has been involved in the promotion of human rights for over 25 years. He was nominated for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize by Mairead Corrigan, Northern Irish peace activist and 1976 laureate.

José María Reina Barrios


José María Reina Barrios was President of Guatemala from 15 March 1892 through 8 February 1898. He was born in San Marcos, Guatemala. He was nicknamed Reinita, the diminutive form, because of his short stature. He was a moderate of Guatemala's Liberal Party, who worked to solidify the less controversial of the reforms of late president Justo Rufino Barrios. The power of the landowners over the rural peasantry increased during his presidency. He oversaw rebuilding of parts of Guatemala City on a grander scale, with some wide avenues built on the model of those of Paris. He oversaw Guatemala hosting the first Central American Exposition in 1897. He printed paper currency to fund his ambitious plans, resulting in monetary inflation and rise of popular opposition to his regime. José María Reina was assassinated on 8 February 1898, by Edgar Zollinger, a British citizen of Swiss stock. Reina who was interred in the Metropolitan Cathedral was succeeded as President by Manuel Estrada Cabrera.

José María Orellana


José María Orellana Pinto was a Guatemalan politician, President of Guatemala from December 10, 1921 to September 26, 1926. Orellana, born in El Jícaro, department of El Progreso, was a general of the Guatemalan army. He took possession after a coup d'état against then president Carlos Herrera, and had himself elected as president the next year. His father was Esteban Orellana and his mother Leonor Pinto. During Orellana's term, the quetzal as unit of currency was created. Orellana's image appears in the obverse of the one-quetzal bill, the most common form of currency in Guatemala.

Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García


Brigadier General Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García was President of Guatemala from 1 July 1974 to 1 July 1978. He was the son of a Norwegian father and Guatemalan mother. Laugerud received part of his military training in the United States, attending classes at Fort Benning, Georgia, and at Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served as Guatemalan delegate to the Inter-American Defense Board between 1968 and 1970. Laugerud had been chief of the army staff and defense minister under President Carlos Arana since 1972, then was elected president in a March 1974 vote that was marred by violence and charges of fraud. His candidature had been endorsed by both the military-backed Institutional Democratic Party and the far right National Liberation Movement. During his term, Guatemala experienced a disastrous earthquake in 1976, and had continuing disputes with neighboring Belize. In 1977, after the Carter administration published a report critical of the human rights situation in Guatemala, Laugerud announced that the country would no longer accept US military aid. Guatemala did in fact receive funds that had already been appropriated for that year, and later turned to other nations, such as Israel, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Taiwan, and Yugoslavia for military aid and arms supplies.

Minor López

Soccer Forward

Minor Ignacio López Campollo is a Guatemalan footballer currently playing for Deportes La Serena of the Chilean Primera División. He is also a member of the Guatemala national team, playing in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns.

Rodrigo Rey Rosa


Rodrigo Rey Rosa is a Guatemalan writer.

Carlos Peña

Latin American Artist

Carlos Enrique Peña Aldana is a Guatemalan singer and songwriter. He is the winner of the second season of Latin American Idol.

Enrique Peralta Azurdia


Colonel Alfredo Enrique Peralta Azurdia was President of Guatemala from 31 March 1963 to 1 July 1966. Enrique Peralta was born on June 17, 1908 in Guatemala City. He took over the presidency after a coup against president Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes, under whom he served as Agriculture and Defense Minister. He set up the Institutional Democratic Party, a pro-military governing party modeled on the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which dominated Guatemalan politics until 1982. In the 1978 election, he was the candidate of the National Liberation Movement but was defeated by Fernando Romeo Lucas García.

Juan Federico Ponce Vaides


Juan Federico Ponce Vaides was the acting President of Guatemala from 4 July 1944 to 20 October 1944. He succeeded long-ruling dictator Jorge Ubico after Ubico's resignation, but the latter continued to exercise considerable influence during Ponce's acting presidency. Ponce, a general in the army, was part of a military junta including General Villagrán Eduardo Ariza and General Pineda Buenaventura.

Freddy García

Soccer Midfielder

Freddy Alexander García Carrera is a Guatemalan professional footballer currently playing for Deportivo Heredia in the Guatemala's top division. He has played for several local clubs since 1997, and also in Major League Soccer for Columbus Crew, where he won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Also a member of the Guatemala national team, he has played in four World Cup qualifying campaigns, and is among Guatemala's all-time top scorers.

Sandra Torres


Sandra Julieta Torres Casanova is the former First Lady of Guatemala. Along with her ex-husband, President Alvaro Colom Caballeros, she is of Guatemalan nationality, originally from the county of Melchor de Mencos, in the department of Petén. She has a degree in Communication Sciences from the University San Carlos de Guatemala and a Masters degree in Public Politics from the University Rafael Landívar de Guatemala.

Myrna Mack

Deceased Person

Myrna Mack Chang was a Guatemalan anthropologist. In 1990 she was murdered by a military death squad because of her criticism of the Guatemala government's treatment of the indigenous Maya, and its human rights abuses against the people. Due to her sister's pursuit of justice, Mack's killer was convicted and upper-level superiors tried in precedent-setting cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. In 2004 the government of Guatemala acknowledged its responsibility and paid her family financial compensation.

Manuel Baldizón


Dr. Manuel Antonio Baldizón Méndez is a Guatemalan politician, lawyer, and hotel entrepreneur. He is the leader of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party, and was a candidate in the 2011 presidential election.

Ricardo Alfonso Cerna

Deceased Person

Ricardo Alfonso Cerna was a Guatemalan immigrant to the United States known for committing suicide in 2003 with a gun in an interrogation room in the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office in Muscoy, California. A videotape was running and recorded the event. He was 47 years old.

Dieter Lehnhoff


Dieter Lehnhoff Temme is a Guatemalan composer, conductor, and musicologist.

David Campos


David Campos, is a Guatemalan-American attorney and member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 9. The district consists of Bernal Heights, part of Portola and the Inner Mission and it elected him on November 4, 2008 in the 2008 San Francisco elections.

Antonio José de Irisarri


Antonio José de Irisarri Alonso, was a Guatemalan statesman, journalist and Interim Supreme Director of Chile. He is considered one of the fathers of Chilean journalism together with Fr. Camilo Henríquez. Irisarri was born in Guatemala City, the son of Juan Bautista de Irisarri and of María de la Paz Alonso. He studied in his native city and in Europe, from whence he was recalled back to his home after the death of his father in 1805. In 1809 he visited Chile, and having married Mercedes Trucíos y Larraín, an heiress there, took up his residence in that country and joined with enthusiasm the movement for independence in 1810. He had charge of important public offices during the struggle for liberty, including the command of the National guard and the civil and military government of the province of Santiago, and from March 7 to 14, 1814, he was temporarily in charge of the supreme direction of the nation. In 1818 he was appointed Minister of Government and Foreign Affairs by Bernardo O'Higgins, and in October of the same year he went to Buenos Aires as minister. At the end of 1819 he was sent to Europe to negotiate the recognition of Chilean Independence by England and France While at London he negotiated a loan of £1,000,000 He was sent to Central America in 1827 as minister for Chile, and in 1837 as plenipotentiary to Peru and private adviser to Admiral Manuel Blanco during the War of the Confederation. After the Chilean army was forced to sign the Treaty of Paucarpata on November 17, 1837, the scandal was gigantic. Irisarri refused to return to Chile, was tried in absentia for high treason, and sentence to death. Irisarri wisely never returned to Chile.

Mario Monteforte Toledo


Mario Monteforte Toledo was a Guatemalan writer, dramatist, and politician. Born in Guatemala City, he played important roles in the governments of both Juan José Arévalo and Jacobo Arbenz, including periods as Ambassador to the United Nations between 1946 and 1947, as a deputy in the National Congress from 1947 to 1951, and being both leader of the Congress and Vice-President between 1948 and 1949 before retiring from politics in 1951. With the fall of the Arbenz administration in 1954, Monteforte went into exile in Mexico until 1987. A master of narrative prose, in 1993, Mario Monteforte was awarded the Guatemala National Prize in Literature for his body of work. He died of heart disease in Guatemala City.

Henry Lopez


Henry Lopez is a Guatemalan footballer who plays for Tigres de UANL in the Mexican First Division.

Efraín Recinos


Efraín Enrique Recinos Valenzuela was a Guatemalan contemporary architect, muralist, urbanist, painter and sculptor. Recinos' works adorn the facades and interiors of many of Guatemala's landmark buildings, including the National Library of Guatemala. However, he is best known as the architect of the Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias, which serves as the county's national theater and largest cultural complex, opened in 1978. Recinos designed the large, white structure set on a hill to resemble a jaguar, using insipiration from more traditional Mayan motifs. The government considers the theater as a National Heritage site. Additionally, Recinos also painted the murals located in the Guatemalan National Music Conservatory. Other examples of his work can be found inside La Aurora International Airport and the National Mortgage building. The government of Guatemala awarded him the Order of the Quetzal, one of the country's highest honors for his artistic contributions during his career. Recinos was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, in 1928. He died at the Hospital Hermano Pedro in Guatemala City on October 2, 2011, at the age of 83. He had been treated for an ulcer.

Paulo César Motta

Soccer Goalkeeper

Paulo César Motta Donis is a Guatemalan football goalkeeper who plays for local club Deportivo Mictlán in Guatemala's top division.


Pop rock Artist

Shery is a Guatemalan Latin pop singer and songwriter. She has recorded songs in Spanish and Italian, and shared stage with such international superstars as Chayanne, Cristian Castro, Manuel Mijares, Miguel Bosé, Enrique Iglesias, Vikki Carr and Aleks Syntek. Two of her original compositions have been finalists in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, in New York. "El amor es un fantasma", her first album, was released in January 2008 after two and a half years of production. The CD is named after the first song ever written by the artist, which debuted in radio with 26 straight weeks in the Top 40 in her natal Guatemala in 2005. The album features 11 original songs written by Shery, a song written by legendary Spanish songwriter José Luis Perales, as well as duets with Italian producer / songwriter Francesco Sondelli, Guatemalan singer Jorge "El Bardo" and another with Cuban-American vocalist Daniel René, former member of Latin Pop band Menudo / MDO. The album includes a track mixed by Eddie Kramer, who has produced for Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and David Bowie.

Julio René Martínez

Olympic athlete

Julio René Martínez Sicán is a Guatemalan race walker.

Regina José Galindo


Regina José Galindo is a Guatemalan performance artist who specializes in body art. She was born in Guatemala City.

Alfred Julio Jensen

Visual Artist

Alfred Julio Jensen was an abstract painter. His paintings are often characterized by grids of brightly colored triangles, circles or squares, painted in thick impasto. Conveying a complex web of ideas, often incorporating calligraphy or numerical systems, they are frequently referred to as "concrete" abstract art. After his death in 1981, the Guggenheim organized a major retrospective of his work, having held his solo exhibition there in 1961.

Mario Acevedo

Soccer Forward

Mario Giovany Acevedo Menzie is a Guatemalan football forward. He played for many local clubs, most famously CSD Municipal in the Guatemala's top division.

Tony Sarg


Anthony Frederick Sarg, known professionally as Tony Sarg, was a German American puppeteer and illustrator. He was described as "America's Puppet Master", and in his biography as the father of modern puppetry in North America. Sarg was born in Cobán, Guatemala, to Francis Charles Sarg and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Parker. The elder Sarg was a consul representing Germany; Parker was English. The family returned to the German Empire in 1887; Sarg entered a military academy at age 14 and received a commission as lieutenant at 17; in 1905 he resigned his commission and took up residence in the United Kingdom, where he pursued a relationship with Bertha Eleanor McGowan, an American he had met when she was a tourist in Germany. They were married in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, January 20, 1909, and returned to England where their daughter Mary was born two years later. In 1914, with the start of World War I, he sent Bertha and the children to Cincinnati, followed them soon after, and settled the family in New York City in 1915. He had been raised around puppets, inherited his grandmother's collection of them, developed them as a hobby that enhanced the impression he made on other artists, and finally in 1917 turned them into a profession. In 1920, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Ricardo Trigueño Foster


Ricardo Alberto Trigueño Foster is a Guatemalan football goalkeeper who currently plays for Club Xelajú MC in Guatemala's top division.

Carlos Solórzano


Carlos Solórzano Fernández was a Guatemalan born Mexican playwright. He is considered one of the most important playwrights in Guatemalan history. His contribution to the theater in Latin America range from his plays to articles in theater journals and encyclopedias, and essays related to the history and anthology of Latin theater.

José Francisco Barrundia


José Francisco Barrundia y Cepeda was a liberal Central American politician. From June 26, 1829 to September 16, 1830 he was interim president of the United Provinces of Central America.

Jamy Franco

Olympic athlete

Jamy Amarilis Franco Núñez is a Guatemalan race walker. Cuban coach Rigoberto Medina has worked with her since 2010. Born in Santa Rosa, Franco is the daughter of former Olympic race walker Evelyn Núñez. In 2005 at the age of 14, Franco won the 10,000 meter race walk at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Windsor, Canada, setting a new record in the event. The following year, aged 15, she won the 4000 m race walk in the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, under-17 category, again setting a competition record. In March 2011, she won the Pan American Race Walking Cup, her first major title, and in August 2011 at the World Championships she finished in 19th place in the 20 km event, being the top ranked woman from the Americas and setting high expectations for the Pan American Games competition later that year. On 23 October 2011, at the age of 20, she won the 20 km race walk at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, breaking the Pan American Games women's record in the process and finishing the event 59 seconds ahead of her compatriot Mirna Ortíz, who finished second. It was the first time in the games' history that Guatemala won gold and silver medals in the same athletic event. It was also Guatemala's first win in an athletics event at the Games since Mateo Flores won the Marathon in the 1955 edition.

Carlos Herrera


Carlos Herrera y Luna was acting President of Guatemala from 15 April 1920 to 15 September 1920 and President of Guatemala from 16 September 1920 until 10 December 1921. As a business man, he developed Pantaleón Sugar Mill as a recognized industry, and also bought El Baul Sugar Mill in the early 1900s. Pantaléon Sugar Holdings, is today one of the top 10 sugar companies in América, with mills in Central and South América. Herrera was deposed in a coup, led by José María Orellana, in July 1921. He subsequently went into exile in France.

Paco Pérez


Paco Pérez was a Guatemalan singer, composer and guitarist.

Manuel Barillas


Manuel Lisandro Barillas Bercián was acting president of Guatemala from 6 April 1885 to 15 March 1886 and President from 16 March 1886 to 15 March 1892. He was born in Quetzaltenango, and assassinated in Mexico City.

Flavio Herrera


Flavio Herrera was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. His works are formal reading material in public schools and private schools in Guatemala.

Adrián Recinos


Adrián Recinos was a Guatemalan historian, essayist, Mayanist scholar and translator, and diplomat. Recinos was a great student of national history, mainly of the Maya civilization and the ancient history of the K'iche' and Kaqchikel people. It was he who made the first edition in Spanish of the Popol Vuh, based on his translation of the manuscript found in the Newberry Library, Chicago, the United States. He also published his translations of other ancient Mayan manuscripts, including the Anales de los Cakchiqueles.

Pedro Molina Mazariegos


Doctor Pedro José Antonio Molina Mazariegos was a Central American politician, considered one of the founders of liberalism in Guatemala. At the head of a party named Los Cacos, he fought for the independence of Central America from Spain. Los Cacos were opposed by Los Serviles. In 1802 he was a professor at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. In 1820 he formulated a plan for the reform of medical education. His plan was accepted and put into practice. He was a physician and a journalist. He founded El Editor Constitucional on July 24, 1820 On March 10, 1848 he founded El Album Republicano. Because of his vocal opposition to the government, he was held for a time incommunicado in the Castle of San José. From July 10, 1823 to October 4, 1823 he served on the first executive triumvirate of the newly independent Federal Republic of Central America, and was the triumvirate's first president. Later, he was president of the states of Guatemala and Los Altos within the federation.

Santiago González


Santiago González Portillo was President of El Salvador 15 April 1871 - 1 February 1876. He was a military officer and a member of the Liberal Party. He led a revolution in 1871 in which the conservative government was overthrown, and he amended the constitution.

Sergio Sanchez

Olympic Shooting Sport Athlete

Sergio Sánchez is an athlete.

Carlos Enrique Díaz de León


Carlos Enrique Díaz de León was the provisional President of Guatemala from 27 June 1954 to 28 June 1954. He was replaced by a military junta led by Elfegio Monzón. Carlos Enrique Díaz was chief of the armed forces. Diaz was also a friend and successor of Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz. At the direction of the CIA and US Ambassador John Peurifoy, Díaz convinced Árbenz to resign the presidency. Military Government Board ⁕Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz ⁕Colonel H. Elfego Monzón ⁕Colonel Jose Angel Sanchez Later the CIA decided that Díaz was too indulgent of Communists and he was replaced by Elfegio Monzón, an officer in the national army who had opposed Árbenz.

Stephen Haggard


Stephen Hubert Avenel Haggard was a British actor, writer and poet.

José Javier del Aguila

Soccer Midfielder

José Javier del Aguila is a Guatemalan football midfielder. He currently plays for U.D. Oliveirense in Segunda Liga, the Portuguese second level football league, and for the Guatemala national football team. He's represented Guatemala in the 2011 U-20 World Cup, the 2011 Gold Cup and in CONCACAF world cup qualifying.

Harris Whitbeck


Harris Whitbeck is CNN's International Correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. He covers key events in Latin America and around the world for CNN Worldwide, including CNN International, CNN en Español, and CNN/U.S. Since joining CNN in 1991, Whitbeck has reported on worldwide events including the war in Iraq and its aftermath, the U.S. led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the 2004 Haitian coup d'état, the rebellion in Chiapas, several papal visits to Latin America and the hostage crisis at the Japanese embassy in Lima. He also covered September 11's terrorist attack against The Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. He reported extensively from Turkey and Jordan before the war in Iraq and most recently he reported post war events from Iraq where he was part of the team of reporters who first broke the news of the death of Saddam Hussein's sons. In Latin America, Whitbeck has covered important developments on political, economic and social arenas as well as numerous devastations caused by natural disasters. Among those, Whitbeck covered floods in Venezuela, the earthquake in Colombia and destruction left by Hurricane Mitch. On the political side, Whitbeck reported on the presidential elections in Mexico, Peru and Argentina, the Augusto Pinochet extradition process, the coup attempt in Ecuador, the death of Octavio Paz and Bill Clinton's trip to Latin America in May 1997. He also reported on the Latin American Summit from Monterrey, Mexico.

Harold Caballeros


Harold Caballeros is a Guatemalan lawyer, businessman, politician and is involved in the academia. He currently serves as Secretary General of the Visión con Valores party, VIVA and as Dean of the Universidad San Pablo de Guatemala, and has given several lectures in over 45 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Actively participated as facilitator in the Country Vision Plan, which consolidates role of political parties as interlocutors between society and state.

Lou Sagastume

Football player

Luis "Lou" Sagastume is a retired Guatemalan-American soccer player who spent three seasons in the North American Soccer League and coached at the youth, collegiate and professional levels. He was the head coach of the Air Force Falcons for 28 years before retiring in 2009