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Public Holidays

Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a calendar of all 2017 public holidays for Guatemala. Please scroll down to view.

According to recent statistics released by international economists and non-governmental relief organizations, Guatemala is the most underdeveloped and poverty-stricken country in the world. It is estimated that close to 80 percent of Guatemalans live below starvation levels. Although many employers provide housing to seasonal workers, the living arrangements often include two wooden walls, a dirt floor and no furniture or cooking facilities.

Guatemala finally enacted a Labour Code regulated by a Congressional Decree adopted in April 2001 to insure equality and fair working conditions for employees. The majority of employers do not abide by regulations set forth in the Labour Code, causing employees to suffer from poverty, as well as unsafe and unsanitary working conditions.

Guatemala officially recognizes at least 12 official public holidays annually. Many holidays are based on Christian doctrines and some observances are specific to territories or regions in the country. Guatemalan labor laws state that all employees are entitled to paid public holidays, but only at the discretion of the employer. The law is silent as to whether an employee is compensated for working on a sanctioned public holiday. Unlike many countries, employees in Guatemala are typically discouraged from entering into employment contracts or union bargaining agreements. Guatemalan labour laws are silent on whether employees are entitled to paid annual leave or vacation.

Working Conditions and Wages

In Guatemala, working conditions are undesirable, unsafe, unsanitary and abusive. At least 80 percent of Guatemalan workers are employed in the garment industry, known as “apparel for export factories.” Most companies are reported to be in violation of Guatemalan labour laws, especially those restricting mandatory overtime and employment of children.

According to the newly adopted Labour Code, the minimum daily wage for an agricultural worker amounts to $3.00 USD. Employees working in the construction and commerce industries can expect daily wages of $3.30 USD. Specialized or skilled workers can earn as much as $6.00 USD per day. This seems to include a weekly rest period, but the amount of time allowed is at the discretion of the employer. The Labour Code states that overtime should be compensated at a rate equal to time-and-one-half. It is reported that children as young as six years of age are employed in the agricultural industry and children as young as 13 are working in the garment industry. Children are not subject to overtime pay and are usually required by their parents to work overtime to help meet family expenses.

International Labour Organization Investigation

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently conducted an investigative study into the abhorrent working conditions in Guatemala. After performing an in-depth analysis of employer violations and the withholding of pay, the agency made several recommendations. According to the ILO study, it is recommended that Guatemala adopt an updated version of its Labout Code to insure the rights or workers to collective bargaining; eliminate discrimination among workers; abolish child labour and eliminate forced overtime. Whether these recommendations will take effect in the future are unknown.

Public Holidays 2017

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
13 AprThuHoly Thursday
14 AprFriGood Friday
15 AprSatEaster Saturday
1 MayMonGuatemalan Labor Day
30 JunFriArmy Day
15 SepFriIndependence Day
20 OctFriRevolution Day
1 NovWedAll Saints Day
25 DecMonChristmas Day