Guatemala is a beautiful and interesting country in Central America, with a huge range of natural and cultural treasures. We traveled in Guatemala a few times already and absolutely loved each minute! Read about our own experience as lesbian travelers in Guatemala!
Before traveling to this marvelous country as an LGBT+ traveler, you should inform yourself about the LGBT+ rights in a country.
That’s why we created this guide about LGBT+ Guatemala!
Legal since 1871
Homosexuality in Guatemala
Private homosexuality is legal in Guatemala since 1871.
Commercial homosexuality is not!
Age of Consent in Guatemala
The age of consent is 18, no matter the sexuality.
Domestic Partnership in Guatemala
A domestic partnership or civil union for same-sex couples are not legally recognized.
Same-Sex Marriage in Guatemala
In Guatemala, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry each other.
Same-Sex Adoption in Guatemala
Any form of adoption by same-sex couples is illegal
whether it is the adoption of the child of your partner or not.
Change Legal Gender in Guatemala
Changing your legal gender is not possible in Guatemala.
Changing your legal name is possible since 2016.
Cross-dressing is still seen as a sign of immorality by a large number of people.
Public opinion in Guatemala
Homosexuality is frowned upon in rural places.
As a foreigner, you’re mostly safe.
Percentage of people supporting same-sex marriage:
LGBT-friendly places in Guatemala
LGBT+ Pride in Guatemala
Pride events in Guatemala aren’t as large and open as they are in Europe and the US.
They aren’t even organized each year. But if you’re lucky, you can catch an LGBT Pride parade in Guatemala.
Cities that sometimes organize a Pride event are Guatemala City, Antigua, and Quetzaltenango.
This Facebook page has the most information about LGBT Pride events. They also have a Facebook group where you can mingle and socialize!
Fridas El Atico – LGBT+ bar in Antigua Guatemala
Fridas Restaurant and Bar in Antigua are LGBT friendly. It is a safe place to go to. The place is lesbian-owned.
You can go there at any time, but the LGBT events are only on certain days/nights
They have regular events and offer a safe haven for gay, lesbian and gender non-conform locals and travelers as well. Check out their Facebook page to see when they have their events.
5a Avenida Norte #29 – At El Arco de Santa Catalina
Los Arcos – Reds LGBT+ Bar in Antigua
Reds Bar in Antigua regularly organizes LGBT+ events. Check the events on their Facebook page.
They’re behind the LGBT Pride in Antigua and they also have events like Miss Gay Antigua, Mister Antigua, and the Antigua LGBT Pride.
Check the events at the Chicos de Antigua Facebook page. It looks very male-oriented, but women are very welcome!
LGBT+ Guatemala City
Aside from Antigua, Guatemala City is the next best place to find LGBT bars and parties. The scene is mostly for men, but hey… it’s a start!.
On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram there are a few accounts that have LGBT topics if you want to follow up on current affairs or find more information.
And there’s the very popular Gay Guatemala Facebook page about LGBT life in Guatemala City and around.
Facebook page for the Trans Community in Guatemala.
Read our guide about gay and lesbian travel in Guatemala.
Guatemala LGBT Safety
Guatemala has no actual laws to protect LGBT against discrimination and harassment.
Discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is common in health care, employment, education, and housing.
Some establishments use their right to deny LGBT access to their premises. We never witnessed anything like this happen, but in rural areas, you might run into problems.
Hate crimes, harassment, and even targeted killings still happen frequently in Guatemala. These crimes are usually directed to locals rather than tourists.
But keep in mind that these things happen and that people can target you for being gay. Society has a negative attitude towards LGBT.
Be careful with public display of affection and keep a low profile.
Most tourist towns and areas that are frequently visited by tourists have a more relaxed attitude towards LGBT and you are likely to be safe. A lot of effort has been made to change laws and protect LGBT against discrimination.
As for 2017, none of these laws have made it through.
Unfortunately, hate crimes can occur at any place and any time! Public display of affection can always trigger people to respond in a negative way. Try to be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
Keep Reading – Books about LGBT+ in Guatemala
To Queer or not to Queer?
That’s the question!
We do things our way and everyone is allowed to do things their way, obviously!
For us, we like to keep a low profile when we travel. With this in mind, we also keep PDA, hugs, and kisses for our private quarters. This clearly depends on the country and the region we’re in. So this doesn’t count for the entire world. But it does count for most of Guatemala!
This has never stopped us from traveling and we explored some amazing places in Guatemala as a lesbian couple. As you might know, one of us does clearly NOT PASS as straight! And we didn’t encounter any trouble while staying low profile.
When staying in a hostel that is run by foreigners, you’re usually very ok and there’s no need for a low profile. Nevertheless, we have been surprised by the open mind of locals in rural areas as well.