Traditional Games for Kids in Guatemala

Traditional Games for Kids in Guatemala

Children around the world have shared some of their favorite games with us, and today we bring you games from Guatemala! Most Guatemalan typical games have roots in the games the ancient Mayan civilization used to practice, and while some of their native games are played all over the world. They still have their very own games that don’t require many objects and can be played by every child in the world. Get outside and learn how to play an old street soccer game, marbles and jump rope — Guatemala style!

Chamuscas is a street soccer game, which originated in Guatemala in the 1900s. At that time, street lights did not exist in rural Guatemalan cities, so players would cover the ball in kerosene and set it on fire so that the ball was visible! That’s where the term “Chamuscas,” meaning “burned,” was coined. Although the game was dangerous, especially for the goalies, this never stopped the players. Today, Chamuscas is played with no referee, no uniforms and with no prize. When it comes down to it, soccer is a game as well as an outlet for kids in Guatemala to play and have fun!

In Guatemala, Cincos is played mostly by boys and requires two or more participants. The objective of the game is to knock the other players’ marbles outside the boundary lines. Each player gets to keep the marbles he or she knocks out of the boundary lines. The players begin by drawing a line on the ground, also called “mica,” and then throw their marble from a distance of about six steps from the mica to see who shoots first. The players then draw a triangle on the ground and each player places a marble inside the triangle. The objective of the game is to knock all of the marbles out of the triangle.

Cuerda, or jump rope, is a fun playground game as well as a great way to get some exercise and impress your friends with your jumping abilities. While the rope is being turned, the jumpers must run into the turning rope one at a time and jump the rope once without touching it. On the jumper’s second turn he/she must jump twice, three times on the third round, and so on. Playing a variety of games such as jump rope, provides the opportunity for kids to make friends and have fun in their free time!

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