Around the World in Houston: Discover Guatemala

Photo courtesy of Festival Chapin En Houston

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

From Guatemalan and Latin heritage festivals to Spanish language meetups and restaurants offering chuchitos, pepian de pollo and kak’ik, there are plenty of ways to get an authentic Guatemalan experience in Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • Festival Chapin En Houston Usually held in September, the Chapin Festival in Houston brings together the music, tastes, and culture of Guatemala, from traditional eats to marimba. Look out for musical showcases throughout the year.
  • Houston Latin Fest Celebrate Latin heritage through music and dance, art, food, and drink at this multi-cultural festival.
  • Houston Latino Film Festival Enjoy cinema without borders at this non-profit film festival, which screens films from all over Latin America, as well as Spain, Portugal, and the U.S.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston The Latin American and Caribbean Art department at this Museum District gem boasts a core collection of modern and contemporary art with more than 550 emblematic from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and works by Latino artists in the United States.
  • Talento Bilingüe de Houston Located in the East End, this bilingual, non-profit cultural center strives to enhance Houston’s Latino arts experience through collaboration, education, and preservation.

Guatemalan Food & Drink


  • Atitlan RestaurantOver in Clear Lake, this Guatemalan and Mexican restaurant offers authentic tastes and big portions on the cheap. Dig into chicken and beef stews, chiles rellenos, caldo de gallina (hen soup), and antojitos like chuchitos (smaller tamales) and tostadas with guacamole, black beans, and salsa.
  • Delicias Latina Restaurant This Nasa-area haunt offers Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine, with dishes including pepian de pollo, carne guisada, and jocón (chicken stewed in green sauce).
  • Guatemala RestaurantThis Hillcroft gem is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering dishes like hilachas (shredded beef in red sauce), eggs with plantains, beans and fajitas, and kak’ik, a traditional turkey soup.
  • Pollo CamperoThis fast-food chicken chain opened its first store in Guatemala in 1971. Get breaded and fried or citrus-grilled chicken alongside plantains, yuca fries, rice, beans, empanadas, and flan.

Grocery Shops & Bakeries

  • El Quetzal BakeryThis Guatemalan bakery and restaurant rocks fresh cakes, and sweet bread, plus traditional homestyle dishes, from tamales de arroz to pupusas.
  • Fiesta Mart With locations around the city, Fiesta Mart is known to stock Hispanic foods and specialty items. Stroll the aisles to find things fruit nectars, flavored tomato sauces, and the Central American staple, frijol de seda.
  • Panaderia Pupuseria RenderosHit this Central American and Mexican panaderia (bakery) and restaurant for authentic flavor and classic dishes, including breakfast plates, tamales de elote, yuca con chicharrón, carne asada, and pollo encebollado.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

  • Habla Houston Learn to speak Spanish through weekly classes, interactive meetups and more.
  • Spanish over Coffee Brush up on your Spanish language skills with all-level classes that help you learn through conversation. Program experiences include dinner parties, game nights, scavenger hunts, and grocery shopping.
  • Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice Known as HACER for short, this Rice University student group sponsors social and cultural events.
  • GCSW Hispanic Student Association at the University of Houston The Hispanic Student Association of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work represents a community of students committed to the principles of empowerment, solidarity, and social justice for Hispanics.

Other Notables

  • BBVA Compass Stadium Fútbol fans can get their fix at this EaDo soccer stadium, home to both the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash.
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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .