Gay Guatemala? We had not been able to find much about ‘gay Guatemala’ at all on Google.
However, when we were in Flores, Guatemala, we received an Instagram message from a gay couple living in Guatemala City, Maikel and Jorge.
They invited us to take a guided tour of the city and then offered to drive us to Antigua. At first, we were slightly wary as your parents tell you not to meet strangers off the Internet! However, we are very glad we did, and as a result we gained two new friends!
Maikel and Jorge were a lovely couple and we had a great day with them. We learnt a lot about Guatemala City and had a fun tour of the bars with them once we arrived in Antigua. We are very glad that they messaged us!
During our day out we asked Maikel and Jorge if we could interview them to learn about being LGBT in Guatemala, here is what they had to say:
Before we talk about gay Guatemala, would you like to introduce yourselves?
We are Jorge and Maikel. We are a gay couple and got married 10 months ago in México City. The marriage ceremony was great and we had all our friends and family there. We have been together for 2.5 years and it has been great so far!
We are from two different countries (Jorge from Guatemala and Maikel from Venezuela). Luckily we met each other in Panamá City where Maikel was working at the time. From that day we started a long distance relationship until we decided to live together in Guatemala 1 year and 4 months ago.
Is Guatemala Gay Friendly and what is the stereotypical view on the LGBTQIA community in Guatemala?
Well, in a country where religion is a big part of peoples lives, people can be close minded. They don’t always accept the idea of the LGBT people. In some cases, people accept it but they keep it very discreet. It is difficult if you are open, you can be open with close friends and some with family, but in work you don’t approach the subject as much.
What changes have you see over the years, whether this be law or attitudes towards LGBTQIA people?
On the issue of laws nothing has changed. On the contrary, a group of congress men try to promote laws that only serve heterosexual partnerships.
The newer generations are much more open. They accept the LGBT community much more than the older generations. We believe that as these generations grow and occupy the important positions we will see positive changes in the laws and society.
There is even a Gay Pride that takes place in June and each year it gets bigger and begins to have a greater media coverage than it had about 4 years ago. This shows that some people are becoming more open, but there is still some push back from religious groups.
Is there a gay scene to be found anywhere in Guatemala?
Yes there is a gay scene. In the city there are some clubs and bars with gay scene. These clubs and bars are not in the fancy zone of the city, they are in the downtown and others are more hidden, if you are looking online you can find their addresses and parties. These include G Lounge, Genetic Majestic Club and Black Club.
In Antigua there is a bar where on the last Saturday of the month there is a LGBT party so it is good time to go and have fun.
What advice would you give LGBTQIA travellers in Guatemala?
Guatemala is a country where in general all people are very kind and warm, it is a country not very open so you should not express much love or affection in the streets but rather in places that are more closed or gay sites.
As for places to visit, Guatemala has many and all are spectacular and for all tastes from the Mayan ruins to the modernity of the city, passing through the colonial part, but if what you are looking for is nature and adventure then Lake Atitlan or Semuc Champey are destinations that must visit. You have to come to Guatemala and enjoy the great weather and places.
Thanks so much to Jorge and Maikel. We can not agree more about Lake Atitlan, it was one of our favourite places! We also found Guatemala to be a very friendly place and would not hesitate about going back.
Following our day our with George and Maikel we embarked on a 9 day tour with STFLY taking us from Antigua to Nicaragua. This was incredible and well worth a look at!
You can keep up with Jorge and Maikel on their Instagram.