Knowing of Indigenous Ways: Fieldwork Dispatches from Atitlán, Guatemala

  • Lucy Caroline Pollard Harbor The Pennsylvania State University
Keywords: Guatemala, Lake Atitlán, Ethnography, Tourism, Identity, Socio-cultural Change


Coupled with the aesthetic beauty of its highland volcanic landscape, the modern indigenous culture of ancient Mayan descendants is a primary factor in bringing over 300,000 international and domestic visitors to the Lake Atitlán, Guatemala region each year. In this field report, I share the evolution of my ethnographic research process within one of these indigenous groups, the Tz'utujil residents of Santiago Atitlán, as they navigate the development and ongoing production of tourism in their town. I provide a vignette of a tourist's typical morning in Atitlán, convey the methods by which my ethnographic insights were derived, and reflect on these fundamental field experiences as they influence my research ethic as a burgeoning scientist.


Author Biography

Lucy Caroline Pollard Harbor, The Pennsylvania State University

Doctoral Candidate

Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment


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