Maya-Tektitek in Guatemala

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Identified as "Teco" language group by Dr. Terrance Kauffman (1969, "Teco-a New Mayan Language" IJAL 35:154-74) and subsequently identified as a need for Bible translation in a language survey. The people group and its language were officially named "Maya-Tektiteko" (note the use of the letter k rather than the letter c) by government decree in the late 1980s or early 1990s. In English we drop the final -o on the name, thus: Maya-Tektitek. A translation team was assigned to the Maya-Tektitek translation project in 1978; the New Testament translation was finished in October 2003, it was published in 2004, and was presented to the public January 1, 2005.

When a translation project began, there were said to be approximately 5000 speakers in Guatemala; however on-site agency estimates were more in the neighborhood of 1500 speakers. Currently the number of speakers in Guatemala is officially at 4897 speakers based on a census taken in 2002 speakers in Mexico and the USA would add an unknown number to this number. A transltion Scripture use promotion team is currently assigned to the Maya-Tektitek project and is working in a wide variety of projects.

Where Are they Located?

Most Tektitek speakers are located in the western highlands of Guatemala in the municipality of Tectitan, Huehuetenango. Speakers of this language are also located in the Guatemalan municipalities of Tacana, San Marcos, and Cuilco, Huehuetenango. An unknown number of speakers (and believers) are located on the Mexican side of the border across from these Gautemalan municipalities. An additional unknown number of speakers are scattered throughout the USA, most working as illegal immigrants. A majority of Tektitek households in Guatemala have at least one relative in the USA.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Typical of western Guatemala --- small farm owners living in rugged mountainous terrain, growing primarily corn, beans and squash; they also raise cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, and chickens. Some Tektiteks now have businesses (e.g., construction, stores, trucking), and many Tektiteks have a partial cash income from relatives in the USA. Because this area was neglected by government support for so long, there are now numerous agencies providing health, agricultural and nutritional resources. Infant mortality is way down compared to 20 years ago, and economic and educational levels are steadily rising. 30 years ago most Tektiteks did not venture beyond nearby Mexican coffee farms, but now many of them travel frequently and widely for economic purposes.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Majority: Syncretistic folk religion mix of animism and Roman Catholicism. Emerging, small minority: Evangelical.

What Are Their Needs?

The greatest need is for ministry that leads people to deliverance from bondage to alcohol and other vices.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Maya-Tektitek in Guatemala.

* Pray for wisdom and power for the vernacular Scripture use team that is working in various aspects of ministry, including radio, music, literacy, youth, personal evangelism and discipleship, and is leading a weekly gathering for Tektitek Bible study, worship and prayer.
* Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that leads people to deliverance from bondage to alcohol and other vices.
* Pray for a healthy Tektitek church to emerge that will be solidly rooted in the Scriptures and experiencing the true transformation that the Holy Spirit brings.


Profile Source:   Ed Beach  

People Name General Maya-Tektitek
People Name in Country Maya-Tektitek
Pronunciation MAI-yah, tek-tee-TEK
Population this Country 3,400
Population all Countries 3,500
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 5  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Teco Mam; Tectitan Mam; Tectitan, Mam; Tectiteco; To
People ID 15315
ROP3 Code 109916
Country Guatemala
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Huehuetenango department: Tectitán area, Cuilco.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Guatemala
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Huehuetenango department: Tectitán area, Cuilco..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Language Tektiteko (3,400 speakers)
Language Code ttc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tektiteko (3,400 speakers)
Language Code ttc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tektiteko

Primary Language:  Tektiteko

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1998)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2003-2014)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Te akʼaʼj tuʼjal tuj tuʼjal qtata Dios
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Roman Catholic
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 15.00 %)
94.00 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
65.0 %
Photo Source Ed Beach 
Profile Source Ed Beach  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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