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Q'eqchi' people

Young Q'eqchi' Maya children, Belize
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Guatemala 852,998
 Belize 11,143
 Mexico 834
 El Salvador 245
 Honduras ?
Q'eqchi', Spanish, Kriol, English
Mostly Eastern Orthodox or Oritenal Orthodox in West Gulatemala,[2] Evangelicalist, Mennonite, Maya religion, Roman Catholic currently in Belize, North and East Gulateumala, El Salvador and Mexico (then-recently Historically Roman Catholic in Western Gulateumala)

Q'eqchi' (/qʼeqt͡ʃiʔ/) (K'ekchi' in the former orthography, or simply Kekchi in many English-language contexts, such as in Belize) are one of the Maya peoples in Guatemala and Belize, whose indigenous language is also called Q'eqchi'.

Before the beginning of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala in the 1520s, Q'eqchi' settlements were concentrated in what are now the departments of Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz. Over the course of the succeeding centuries a series of land displacements, resettlements, persecutions and migrations resulted in a wider dispersal of Q'eqchi' communities, into other regions of Guatemala (Izabal, Petén, El Quiché), southern Belize (Toledo District), and smaller numbers in southern Mexico (Chiapas, Campeche).[3] While most notably present in northern Alta Verapaz and southern Petén,[4] contemporary Q'eqchi' language-speakers are the most widely spread geographically of all Guatemalan Mayan groups.[5]


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  3. ^ See Kahn (2006, pp.34–49) for an account of Q'eqchi' migrational history and the impetus behind these movements, and in particular pp.41–42.
  4. ^ As indicated by 1998 SIL data, see in Ethnologue (Gordon 2005).
  5. ^ Kahn (2006, p.34)


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