asentamientos precarios—precarious settlements; shantytowns
barraca—hut, humble dwelling; in the countryside, called a rancho
barrio—neighborhood; sometimes has the sense of a poor or working-class
cabecera—the capital of a department (departamento) or municipality (municipio)
camino—road, way, or path
campesino—country person, farmer; often translated as ‘‘peasant,’’ a term avoided in
this text because of its European connotations, which do not apply to the
situation in Guatemala
cantina—a lower-class bar, typically serving only men
capitalino/a—a person from Guatemala City
centro comercial—depending on the historical period, translates as ‘‘shopping center’’
or ‘‘mall’’
chapín—slang word meaning ‘‘Guatemalan’’
chavo/a—dude, fellow, young guy or girl
comedor—a lower-class restaurant or eatery
costumbre—literally, ‘‘custom,’’ but popularly used to refer to the various rituals and
practices of Maya in general and Mayan shamans specifically
covacha—hovel, hut; in the countryside, called a rancho
departamento—department, the political division in Guatemala equivalent to a state
in the United States; there are twenty-two departments in the country
don, doña—an honorific, similar to ‘‘Sir’’ or ‘‘Madam’’ but used before a first name
finca—large farm or farming estate
finquero—the owner of a finca
huipil—the sleeveless woven blouse worn by Mayan women, accompanied by a skirt
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