in English orthography, K'ekchi in the former orthography) are one of the Maya peoples
, whose indigenous language is also called Q'eqchi'
Before the beginning in the 1520s of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala, Q'eqchi' settlements were concentrated in what are now the departments of Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz. Over the course of the succeeding centuries a series of land displacements, resettlements, persecutions and migrations resulted in a wider dispersal of Q'eqchi' communities, into other regions of Guatemala (Izabal, Petén, El Quiché), southern Belize (Toledo District), and smaller numbers in El Salvador,Honduras and southern Mexico (Chiapas, Campeche). While most notably present in northern Alta Verapaz and southern Petén, contemporary Q'eqchi' language-speakers are the most widely spread geographically of all Guatemalan Mayan groups.
Photo : Young Q'eqchi' Maya children, Belize
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