Cómo se dice gracias en guatemalteco

How to Say Thank You in Guatemalan

In Guatemala, the official language is Spanish, so the most common way to express gratitude is by using the Spanish phrase gracias. However, Guatemala’s diverse cultural landscape also includes indigenous languages, with Kaqchikel being one of the most widely spoken. Let’s delve into the different ways to say thank you in both Spanish and Kaqchikel.

Saying Thank You in Spanish

The primary way to show appreciation in Guatemala is by using the Spanish word gracias. This term, pronounced as grah-see-ahs, is versatile and can be used in formal and informal settings alike. When someone extends a kindness or offers a gift, a simple gracias is a polite gesture to convey your gratitude.

  • Formal and Informal Usage: In Guatemala, gracias is suitable for all situations, whether you are thanking a friend, a family member, or a stranger.
  • Non-verbal Expressions: Along with saying gracias, you can also express your gratitude through gestures like a smile or nod, which are well-received in Guatemalan culture.
  • Written Communication: When sending a thank-you note or message, incorporating gracias adds a personal touch to your expression of thanks.

Saying Thank You in Kaqchikel

In Kaqchikel, an indigenous language spoken in Guatemala, the word for thank you is maltiox. Pronounced as mahl-tee-ohsh, maltiox holds a similar significance to gracias in Spanish. Using maltiox when interacting with Kaqchikel speakers not only conveys your gratitude but also demonstrates respect for their language and heritage.

  • Cultural Appreciation: Learning to say maltiox showcases your interest in Guatemalan culture and fosters a deeper connection with the local community.
  • Language Preservation: By embracing and using indigenous phrases like maltiox, you contribute to the preservation of Kaqchikel and other native languages in Guatemala.
  • Enhanced Communication: Incorporating maltiox into your vocabulary allows for more meaningful exchanges with Kaqchikel speakers and enriches your cultural experience in Guatemala.

Cultural Significance of Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude plays a vital role in interpersonal communication in Guatemala, symbolizing appreciation and respect for others. Saying thank you not only acknowledges a kind gesture but also signifies the value of relationships within Guatemalan society. Expressing gratitude is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural norms, emphasizing the importance of politeness and consideration for others.

  • Building Relationships: Regularly expressing gratitude helps build strong and lasting relationships, fostering a sense of mutual respect and understanding.
  • Social Etiquette: In social settings, saying thank you is a customary practice that reflects good manners and consideration for others’ efforts.
  • Emotional Well-being: Cultivating a habit of gratitude can enhance your emotional well-being and promote positive interactions with those around you.

Other Ways to Say Thank You in Guatemala

While gracias and maltiox are the most prevalent expressions of gratitude in Guatemala, there are other phrases you can use to convey thanks effectively:

  • Muchas gracias (pronounced as moo-chahs grah-see-ahs): This phrase translates to thank you very much and is ideal for situations that warrant extra appreciation.
  • Mil gracias (pronounced as meel grah-see-ahs): Meaning a thousand thanks, this phrase is a heartfelt way to show profound gratitude.
  • ¡Qué amable! (pronounced as keh ah-mah-bleh): Translating to how kind!, this expression is perfect for acknowledging someone’s generosity or thoughtfulness.


In conclusion, expressing gratitude in Guatemala is more than a social nicety; it is a cultural practice that strengthens interpersonal bonds and showcases respect for others. Whether you choose to say gracias in Spanish or maltiox in Kaqchikel, demonstrating thankfulness in Guatemala is a simple yet impactful way to show appreciation. By understanding and embracing the various ways to express gratitude in Guatemalan culture, you can enhance your interactions with locals and deepen your cultural immersion.

Please note that the pronunciation guides provided are approximations to assist non-Spanish and non-Kaqchikel speakers in understanding the sounds of the words.


1. How do you say thank you in Guatemala?

In Guatemala, the most common way to say thank you is by using the Spanish word gracias.

2. What is the Kaqchikel word for thank you?

In Kaqchikel, one of the indigenous languages spoken in Guatemala, the word for thank you is maltiox.

3. Why is expressing gratitude important in Guatemalan culture?

Expressing gratitude in Guatemala is important as it shows appreciation for a kind gesture and acknowledges the value of the relationship between the speaker and the recipient. It is seen as a sign of respect and politeness in Guatemalan culture.

4. Are there other ways to say thank you in Guatemala?

Yes, apart from gracias and maltiox, you can also say Muchas gracias (thank you very much), Mil gracias (a thousand thanks), and ¡Qué amable! (how kind!) to express gratitude in Guatemala.

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