Information from: “Sociolinguistic Survey Report of the Deaf Community of Guatemala ” . Elizabeth Parks and Jason Parks (2008) SIL International
100 percent certain, based on the evidence available
"A recent government-sponsored survey estimated a deaf population of 73,000 (Edith Paz 2006, personal communication), but other estimates reach up to 640,000.... Forty percent of all Guatemalans with a significant degree of hearing loss are believed to use a sign language, according to a source who previously worked with the national disability organization, CONADI. When applied to the figures above, this indicates that between 28,000 and 256,000 Guatemalans use sign language and have a deaf ethnolinguistic identity." "...very few hearing Guatemalans use any sign language, including GSM."
DOMAINS OF USE
SPEAKER NUMBER TRENDS
MORE ON VITALITY
"...deaf and hearing Guatemalans have more places in which they can acquire GSM, including deaf schools, deaf clubs, churches, Christian ministries, hospitals, deaf family members, hearing parents, LENSEGUA dictionaries, and TV programs.... It is not used in government meetings, banks, or the market place, except by interpretation between it and Spanish. Hearing parents of deaf children are reticent to use sign language at home and may even strictly forbid it. Most deaf people are required to lip-read, speak, and write Spanish in order to communicate with their hearing family members. Because of this, most deaf people do not learn a sign language until they are in contact with the deaf community, anytime between 5 and 30 years of age."
10 deaf schools. Dictionaries. Television program in Quetzaltenango airs a forty-five minute program every Tuesday.
OTHER LANGUAGES USED BY THE COMMUNITY
American Sign Language
LANGUAGE CONTEXT COMMENTS
"Deaf and hearing people have acquired sign language through deaf members of the community, deaf schools and associations, hospitals and private organizations that hold classes, and the recently printed LENSEGUA dictionaries."
Scripts (Writing system)
More on Orthography
"There is no established orthography for GSM and most deaf people desire their language development to take the form of video accessed through Television, DVD, and the Internet."
Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango (Xela), Cobán, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Mazatenango, Escuintla, Zacapa, throughout the country
"The majority of deaf people are found in Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango (called Xela by locals), although other cities, including Cobán, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Mazatenango, Escuintla, and Zacapa, are also hubs for the deaf community. Isolated deaf people live in the northern Petén and reportedly use home signs instead of a formalized sign language... Deaf people of Guatemala live scattered throughout the country with higher concentrations in large cities. They view themselves as one community, but specifically identify with deaf people in the city nearest them."
Information from: “Glottolog” .
Information from: “Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 16th Edition (2009)” . M. Paul Lewis · SIL International