M is for Maize

Native to Mesoamerica, corn was first found in Guatemala around 3,000 BC. The crop was cultivated alongside squash and bean crops in the Peten region of Guatemala.

With 25 recognized varieties of corn found around the world, Guatemala has farmed 13 varieties, of which white, black, and yellow corn being the most widely consumed.

More than just food, corn was revered among the Mayans as a sacred diety. Within mayan culture, corn is consumed in 4 ways: the corn tortilla, the tamal, atole (a warm corn drink) and pozole (a soup). There is evidence to suggest that these 4 meals were prepared in ancient times, due to the excavation of cooking tools like the comal and grinding stone.

To this day the vast majority of corn grown in Guatemala is used to make masa (dough) for tortillas and tamales.


A Guatemalan tortilla is entirely different than its Mexican brother. Tortillas in Guatemala are smoky tasting and thick while still being fluffy.

So next time you are enjoying a Guatemalan tortilla, give thanks to the industrious Maya who created such a tasty staple.