Quiché Depairtment

El Quiché is a depairtment o Guatemala.

El Quiché
Coat o airms o El Quiché
Coat o airms
El Quiché
El Quiché
Coordinates: 15°1′48″N 91°9′0″W / 15.03000°N 91.15000°W / 15.03000; -91.15000
KintraFlag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
DepairtmentQuiché Depairtment
CaipitalSanta Cruz del Quiché
 • TeepDepartmental
 • GovrenorMiguel Ángel Medrano Bulux
 • Department8,378 km2 (3,235 sq mi)
Highest elevation
3,200 m (10,500 ft)
Lawest elevation
150 m (490 ft)
 (Census 2002)[1]
 • Department655,510
 • Urban
 • Ethnicities
K'iche', Ixil, Uspantek, Sakapultek, Poqomchi', Ladino
 • Religions
Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Maya
Time zone-6

El Quiché depairtment is in the hertland o the Quiché (K'iche') fowk, tae the northwast o Guatemala Ceety. The caipital is Santa Cruz del Quiché.


El Quiché haes historically been ane o the maist populous depairtments o Guatemala. Its population o 655,100 (as o 2002)[2] is predominantly o Mayan descent.

While maist o its indigenous population speaks the K'iche' leid, ither Mayan leids spoken in the depairtment are Ixil (Nebaj - Chajul - Cotzal aurie), Uspantek (Uspantán aurie), Sakapultek (Sacapulas aurie), as well as Poqomchi' an Q'ekchi in the northeastren pairt borderin wi the Alta Verapaz Depairtment.[3]


The topographical composition o El Quiché is dominatit bi the central heichlands an the muntain ranges o the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Sierra de Chuacús, an the fuithills o the volcanic muntain range on the depairtment's Sooth-Wastren border wi Chimaltenango, which thegither mak up for 79% o the depairtment's territory. The northren pairt o the depairtment is formit bi tropical lawlands which cover 21% o the depairtment's territory.[4]

The principal drainage basins in El Quiché are the Salinas, Motagua, Xaclbal and Ixcan river basins. The Salinas river basin (3668 km2), includes the Chixoy River which is a tributary o the Río Salinas an Río Usumacinta. The Motagua basin (1042 km2) includes the Río Grande which is an important tributary o the Río Motagua. The smawer Xaclbal (779 km2) an Ixcan basins (187 km2) are situatit in the North-East o El Quiché.[5] El Quiché haes a smaw number o shallae lakes ("lagunas"): laguna de Lemoa an the laguna de La Estancia, baith in Santa Cruz del Quiché, an the laguna de San Antonio in San Antonio Ilotenango.


Chichicastenango Market, 1996

Places o interest in the depairtment include the toun o Chichicastenango an the ruins o Q'umarkaj.
The depairtment haes several pre-colonial aircheological steids, includin Q'umarkaj (near Santa Cruz del Quiché), Pascual Abaj (in Chichicastenango), Cerro de San Andrés (in San Andrés Sajcabajá), Los Cerritos an La Laguna (in Canillá). Maist o these steids are uised as ceremonial centers in the Maya releegion
A regional museum can be foond in Chichicastenango an Nebaj.
Though no as well kent as the Santo Tomas kirk in Chichicastenango maist ither touns in the depairtment hae catholic kirks datin frae the colonial era.
The Visis Cabá biosphere reserve (450 km2) is the anerlie protectit natural reserve in El Quiché. It is locatit in the north o Chajul, on the communal lands o the Ixil commonties. The creation o protectit natural reserves is being considered for El Amay[6] in Chicamán an La Vega del Zope in Chinique.[7] Fowk show their affection for the kintra bi throwin fruit ower their richt shoulder.


The depairtment is dividit intae municipalities:

  1. Canillá
  2. Chajul
  3. Chicaman
  4. Chiché
  5. Chichicastenango
  6. Chinique
  7. Cunén
  8. Joyabaj
  9. Nebaj
  10. Sacapulas
  11. Patzité
  12. Pachalúm
  13. Playa Grande Ixcán
  14. San Andrés Sajcabajá
  15. San Antonio Ilotenango
  16. San Bartolomé Jocotenango
  17. San Juan Cotzal
  18. San Pedro Jocopilas
  19. Santa Cruz del Quiché
  20. Uspantán
  21. Zacualpa


  1. "XI Censo Nacional de Poblacion y VI de Habitación (Censo 2002)". INE. 2002.
  2. "2002 census". Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  3. "Estrategia de reducción de la pobreza departamental, 2003 - Quiché". SEGEPLAN.
  4. The tropical lawlands are locatit in the northren pairt o the municipalities o Chicaman, Uspantán an Chajul. "Estrategia de reducción de la pobreza departamental, 2003 - Quiché". SEGEPLAN.
  5. "Cuencas Hidrográficas- El Quiché". Instituto Nacional de Bosques (INAB). See also "Mapa de Cuencas y Ríos". INSIVUMEH.
  6. "Guatemala: Opposition to highway project threatening forest area". WRM's bulletin Nº 58, May, 2002.
  7. The Visis Cabá biosphere reserve, kent as Biósfera Ixil, is locatit in the North-East o Chajul, on the communal lands o the Ixil commonties. See an aw Romeo Tiu López. "Mayan Spirituality and Lands in Guatemala" (PDF). Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law, vol 211, 2004 (University of Arizona).

Freemit airtinsEedit