Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word?
During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries. They asked 20 writers which word they consider “best reflects your country.” The storytellers, poets and essayists responded with what they consider the most authentic words from their country, and this the word from Guatemala:
Gutemalan Spanish: KAIBIL or CAIBIL
Kaibil was identified as the most authentic Guatemalan Spanish word according to writer Rodrigo Rey Rosa. The Guatemalan writer explains that, “in 1974 the Mayan-Mam word kaibil came into circulation to designate a type of special commando who fought in the counterinsurgency campaign in Guatemala… Kaibil appears almost daily in the Guatemalan press. It is used in both novels and stories, as well as poems and essays. We also see it in documentary and fiction films.”
Check out these other Guatemala Spanish Slang Word articles.