Folkloric Dances of Guatemala

The culture of Guatemala is so rich and vast that part of it is its dances. Juan Luis Bosch Gutiérrez, businessman and lover of Guatemalan culture, has mentioned on some occasions to be sympathetic to these beautiful traditions.

Next, we will tell you a little about the Folkloric Dances of Guatemala.

Guatemalan Folkloric Dances

The folkloric dances of Guatemala are numerous and are related to cultural celebrations.

These can be divided into two groups: pre-Hispanic dances and Hispanic dances. Those belonging to the first group are usually named after animals, such as the deer dance, which have a social function, such as the ritual of hunting.

On the other hand, Hispanic dances tend to recall battles, reproduce scenes of pastoral life, or deal with religious themes, such as the dance of the Moors and Christians.

In this sense, the traditional dances of Guatemala reflect the cultures of the Mayas, the ancient inhabitants of this country, and the Spanish conquerors.

Most of these dances take place on a fixed date, however, there are also numerous festivals where you can enjoy the traditional dances of the country. Here we leave you with the most popular dances.

Conquest dance

The dance of the conquest is of colonial origin. It refers to the events that occurred in 1524, when the king of K’iche, Tecun Uman, died while fighting for the freedom of his people.

The main characters of this dance are Tecun Uman and Pedro Alvarado (the conqueror of Guatemala). Another 20 dancers complete the dance.

At the end of the dance, Tecun Uman dies and the Mayas are converted to Christianity, representing the victory of the Spaniards over the Mesoamerican people. In this last part, both natives and Spaniards dance together, forgetting the fights with which the dance began.

The instruments that accompany this dance are the whistle, the chimirría, which is a flute of Arab origin brought by the Spaniards, and the drums.

Dance of the deer

This dance is of pre-Hispanic origin and refers to the ancient ritual of hunting deer for food.

This dance involves a tiger and a lion fighting to hunt a deer. A group of young men accompanied by dogs chase the deer in question.

Completing the scene are the elders in charge of ensuring that the ritual is carried out according to pre-established rules and a group of monkeys who add humor to the dance. The dance is accompanied by a single musician who plays the marimba.

A month before dancing, the participants must isolate themselves to purify their body and spirit, especially those who will represent the lions, tigers, and monkeys.

This dance, which involves 26 dancers, represents the struggle between humans and wild animals for deer meat. In the end, a feast is held in which meat is offered to all the guests.

danza del venado en Guatemala

Dance of the cowboys

The dance of the cowboys has as its theme the raising of cattle. It refers to the bullfights that used to take place in the haciendas of Guatemala. It is a satire of Spanish traditions.

The characters involved in this dance are the hacienda owner, some young women, a group of cowboys, shepherds, and bulls. 32 people are part of the cast of the dance of the cowboys.

Natural Resources scene in Guatemala

The country where the entrepreneur and nature lover, Juan Luis Bosch Gutiérrez, is from, is one of the places with an incredible culture and landscape. However, it also has great natural resources, Read on, here we will tell you about the scene of Natural Resources in Guatemala.

Learn about the Natural Resources scene in Guatemala

Guatemala’s natural resources come from its especially fertile soil, its highlands, and valleys. Fruits, minerals, and other resources can be found there.

Plant species, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals are commonly found in Guatemalan territory. There is also petroleum, nickel, lead, zinc, iron, and small amounts of uranium, mercury, gold, silver, and jade.

siembra de vegetales en Guatemala

Guatemalan soil

Only 13% of Guatemalan soil is used for the production of natural resources derived from agriculture. More than 25% is rich in rare, high quality woods and timber for the production of household goods.

The remaining percentage of land includes urban areas, rugged terrain, deserts, and lowlands that are eroded or unsuitable for agriculture or grazing.

Resources to strengthen the country’s economy

Although Guatemala is a country rich in natural resources, these have not been adequately exploited. It is believed that non-metallic minerals and other natural resources would have the potential to strengthen the country’s economy. However, lack of technical knowledge and investment has limited these possibilities.

Agriculture as the basis of Guatemala’s natural resources

Natural resources derived from agriculture represent the backbone of the Guatemalan economy. Agriculture has been important within this region since Mayan times. Corn is one of the resources whose cultivation has been given since this time until today. Corn is one of the resources whose cultivation has been given since this time until today.

Minerals

Certain natural mineral resources found in Guatemalan soil are exported to foreign markets as raw material without processing.

In Guatemala, the most consumed minerals are gravel and sand, extracted from the hills located throughout the country. These are used for domestic purposes.

Livestock

With population growth and the demand for food, cattle and pig farming has become common. Poultry farms and fish hatcheries are also common.

All of the above makes Guatemala a country rich in natural resources, and its economy depends on the exploitation of the land.

Steps to achive profitable growth

Many mid-market executives worry about being behind the trend when it comes to data analytics. In fact, it has great potential to improve decision making and therefore performance, profitability and value. We also see a lot of excitement around data analytics, making it easy to jump without a deliberate and flexible approach.

Data analysis is the transformation of information into practical knowledge that can lead to competitive advantage. There are three types.

Descriptive analysis answers questions like, “What happened and why?”

Predictive analytics takes a step into the future, answering

“What if …?” Prescriptive analytics goes one step further and targets specific actions to take based on the outcome you are looking for. Google Maps is a good example here. Enter your destination and, based on your current location, traffic, available road network, and previous preferences.

All three types of analysis reduce the personal biases and preferences that we so often use to make decisions. As good as our instincts are, analytics reduces uncertainty. They can also lead to increased efficiency and revenue. Businesses use analytics to experiment with real-time pricing based on demand, inventory, and data on how much different customers will pay.

Manufacturers use data analytics for preventative maintenance to reduce downtime and avoid shortages. Others use it to understand absenteeism patterns and predict plant changes that may be insufficient.

Align questions with business strategy

Any project or initiative must align with your profitable growth strategy. This ensures that the questions you ask and the answers you discover directly contribute to gaining a competitive advantage or solving a particular problem. What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? When investing in a data analytics program, you need a systematic way to measure progress against your business goals.

Organizational infrastructure (people and processes) is the biggest challenge for many companies. The results of your data analysis projects will drive a change in the way people work. Old spreadsheets and processes disappear and this can make people uncomfortable. Leadership commitment and participation are critical to smooth transitions.

The cost of undertaking data analytics initiatives is often a concern, but the investment does not have to be prohibitive. The amount to invest should be based on the type of business.

Reduce focus to start

We recommend that companies start with a pilot test. Focus on one aspect of the business and identify specific questions to answer. To find that suitable first project, look at your internal and external stakeholders: shareholders, customers, staff, suppliers, and others.

Develop a plan about what information you will retrieve to answer the question and how you will apply the results. The pilot you carry out must be important to a key group and will allow you to move the needle on the KPIs, in alignment with your strategy.

Formalize your program by involving the right people, including leadership. Your IT staff and many other functional areas should be involved, but not lead the charge. Data analytics is not “an IT thing.” Create a litter box, make mistakes, learn, and then expand the scope to tackle more.

Growth or profitability: what is best for your startup?

It is important to differentiate the type of entrepreneurship in order to answer that question. What is the right path? It depends on the business.

When entrepreneurs realize that the pace of the business will not be enough to meet profitable growth targets and money is about to run out, it is just when they are faced with the dilemma of choosing between reaching the breakeven point or continuing to grow rapidly. What is the right path? It depends on the business.

When you have a consolidated business, the strategy is to make significant profits and grow at moderate rates. However, in the case of an undertaking, the decision is somewhat more complicated.

It is important to differentiate the type of entrepreneurship. There are traditional SME-type businesses that seek to break even and obtain profits in the short term. On the other hand, there are high-impact initiatives where the strategy must be to reach its full potential by growing exponentially.

In the case of a disruptive venture, added the manager, what is sought is to become the next Unicorn or something close. There you get there with big growth in sales, not by cutting back and spending less.

That is, if the business model is high-impact and the unit economics are profitable (each operation and transaction generates profits), the option is to continue growing rapidly. Despite the fact that in the short term no profits are generated for investors.

For this, it is necessary to go out and find investors to keep the company alive and to be able to follow that path. Some investors are waiting for quick returns and others have the patience to wait for the company to explode its potential. These investors prefer that a company continues to grow, they do not want conformity and they look for companies that have the potential to be relevant in their market, despite the risks that this entails.

It should be noted that if you do not have the ability to get money from investors, it is necessary for entrepreneurs to learn it because they will do it all the time. Understanding the needs of investors and knowing how to choose them is essential for high-impact ventures. The leveraged growth curve per investment will depend on the ability to obtain funds at each stage of the company’s development.

It is not about undertaking to lose money. Startups go through a stage in which growth requires a continuous investment in expenses that are seen as losses, until the volume of the company is so important that it allows its consolidation and, with it, turns towards a profit generation strategy optimum.

Companies like Amazon and Facebook were in losses for a long time, but business was good as a unit, so it came to a point where revenue outstripped expenses, in a big way. Uber, Airbnb or Rappi are startups that have not generated profits so far. However, given the profitability of the unit economics and their high impact on the market, investors are encouraged that they will be able to achieve very high returns in the future.

On the other hand, choosing to break even means stop raising capital, make a profit, survive, and move on. These concepts translate, in the short term, into profitable operations and greater peace of mind for conservative investors and even founders, but the future value of the company is possibly being sacrificed.

The main disadvantage of this choice for startups is that the day will come when the competition will appear which, with a growth strategy, will end up taking your customers and eliminating you from the market.

Entrepreneurs need to think about things that are truly transformative. If they really are, they will find investors willing to help them until they reach the desired breakeven point.

Key factors for the profitable growth of your business

When talking about business growth, we can think of increasing sales, improving prices, increasing market share; But when the equation includes profitability, you may be surprised that there are variables that are more important.

Although, the business sector in Mexico presents a positive outlook due to the investment of 3.5 trillion pesos in the sector this year, and the sustained economic growth rates for 7 consecutive years that show an average record of up to 2.7% (INEGI) It is important to ask ourselves: What are the keys to the growth and profitability of a business? Why the importance of these issues?

Taking into account the growth variable, the what, who, how and where that concern the business must be taken into account to establish profitable growth strategies following the next objetives:

What? Value proposition offered to the market and what needs it seeks to cover.
Who? Who serves customers and who are customers.
How? How the company operates and how the competition operates.
Where? Where the company operates.
To this equation is added the variable that concerns us in this article, profitability. According to experts in strategies and business models:

“On many occasions, the company grows but profits are not keeping pace and neither is profitability in terms of return on assets. The situation is that the expenses, both fixed and variable, increase in such a way that the increase in the gross contribution of the company is not reflected in the operating profit ”.

A study carried out on 132 Latin American companies listed on the stock exchange (study carried out by Sintec Customer and Operations and published in the ProMagazine magazine), reveals that more than 60% of businesses do not achieve profitable growth due to not taking into account strategic management .

There are commercial partners willing to support and facilitate the profitable growth of a business, a clear example is the company TIP México who, in addition to having more than 24 years of experience in the vehicle leasing market, supports companies to:

Optimize their expenses and operating costs through the leasing and value-added services of vehicle fleets, that is, companies can begin to improve their expenses and operating costs by stopping buying assets that depreciate and beginning to acquire assets that lean the financial balance towards a profitable business.
Improve the return on assets since within the benefits of the lease, the tax deduction plans are 100% both in monthly payments and additional services.
Generate business opportunities for companies, since thanks to the leasing they are not decapitalized, allowing a greater cash flow available to invest in their growth, increasing profitability.
Offer value-added services such as speed of response, quality and costs. By having a vehicle fleet at the moment and in optimal conditions you can always offer your customers the best service.
To grow in a strategic and sustained way in any economic climate in our country, offering flexibility according to the needs of each client. TIP Mexico has proven to be the best commercial ally for Mexican companies to achieve this.

Get to know the #1 Guatemalan recipe

If you are traveling to Guatemala, Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga invites you to get to know the popular recipe of jocojon.

THE JOCON

This dish is made of chicken, pork, beef or chicken.  The sauce is green, it is eaten a lot in the west of the country.

Jacón

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 pounds of chicken
  • 6 green onion stalks
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 pound of green tomato
  • 1/2 pound of miltomato
  • 6 medium green chili peppers
  • 1 french bread previously soaked
  • oil
  • corn masa
  • water
  • salt to taste
  • pepper, optional

PREPARATION:

Cook the chicken, cut into pieces, in approximately 1 1/2 liters of water with salt and, if desired, some spices of your liking.  Meanwhile, cook the onion stalks, cilantro, green tomato, miltomato and chili peppers in little water.  When they are ready, add the French bread and grind, blend or process them in the food processor.

When the chicken is ready, do not let it cook too much because you will have to let it boil in the broth, remove it from the broth and reserve 2 cups to use it in the preparation of the Jocón.

The rest you can use as a soup base or use it for other dishes.  Fry the green vegetable mixture in 3 tablespoons of oil.

Add the 2 cups of reserved broth.  The jacón is not a recipe that is characterized by being very thick.

Adjust the thickness with corn masa, the kind used for tortillas, dissolved in a little water.  Use approximately 4 tablespoons of masa.  Add a pinch of pepper and salt, if necessary.

Add the chicken pieces.  Let them boil for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.

The Jocón is served in a deep dish, with rice and tortilla.

You may also be interested: FOLKLORIC DANCES OF GUATEMALA

Growth with profitability: the great challenge for companies

The massive amount of information and more demanding consumers have driven companies to operate a more complex business, especially those that do not have the necessary tools. Sintec offers consulting focused on growth with profitability, through the design of a specific strategy.

Business people having a meeting in office with laptop

Many times companies make the mistake of thinking that the growth of their sales and gross contribution will translate into greater profitability, however in practice this may be different, so it is important to support customers to grow in a sustainable way This was stated by Fernando Espinosa, Frank Maes and Thomas Shimada, partners of Sintec, a Mexican business consultancy with 28 years of experience in Latin America.

 

The three partners of the Mexico City office shared with Forbes Mexico that over more than two decades, the firm has worked on more than 300 projects with leading companies in 17 countries, which has positioned Sintec as a leader in the region .

 

The Mexican firm has established itself in Monterrey, Mexico City, Bogotá and São Paulo offering a value proposition based on the profitable growth of its clients’ companies, through the design of a specific strategy.

 

“We seek to help our clients grow profitably. In the past we have observed that very few companies manage to grow profitably, because their operation becomes much more complex and what we do is help them manage that complexity that occurs when they grow ”, says Fernando Espinosa, partner Sintec.

 

Among the tangible benefits that Sintec has achieved in these years, is the impact on sales growth of between 20 and 50%, an increase of between 5 and 15% in operating profit, the increase in asset utilization of between 10 and 15%, the reduction of working capital of between 15 and 25% and the improvement in the level of service of between 5 and 15%.

 

The partners explain that the model that has been successful, both for the companies and for Sintec, has been to go from the design of a strategy to an implementation, that is, to indicate to the clients what to do and accompany them during the process, ensuring that the companies develop organizational capabilities.

 

“The most successful projects have been those in which there has been a diagnosis, a design and an implementation,” they detailed.

The crucial moment in decision making

 

Currently, companies are exposed to large amounts of information, which makes it difficult to operate a business, therefore, it is vitally important to have tools that provide companies with specific information when making decisions.

 

Sintec has implemented the Business Analytics and Optimization (BAO) tool, which specializes in predicting the different possible business scenarios and suggesting courses of action.

 

In this regard, Thomas Shimada, Sintec partner explains: “Although today there are highly trained people in companies, the reality is that many decisions are still made by intuition. What we are looking for is that our clients’ decisions are made based on hard data and with BAO we use technology for that data exploration ”.

Profitability or growth? That is the question

When managers, board members or even company owners are asked what they prefer between profitability or growth, almost automatically a large majority would say that both, however, the answer is not obvious.

It depends on multiple variables and elements to consider about what is best. Here are some reflections on the correlation between the two concepts and how it applies depending on the type of business.

1. Profitable growth

Profitable growth refers to the joint achievement of profitability and growth goals. This is the case of companies that achieve a balance between concentrated and diversified clients, with organic and inorganic growth models and exposure to high-margin, high-growth businesses. They are companies with business models in which the linearity between the new number of clients and the costs and expenses that are activated for their attention is broken. Very few companies manage to maintain sustained profitable growth.

2. Growth first, then profitability

For certain industries, high-growth companies are often more valuable than slower-growing companies, however, this situation is dangerous because growing at exotic rates can lead the company into a valley of death. Supergrowth with low or no profits induces organizations into danger zones due to lack of liquidity, high fixed costs and difficulties to operate on a day-to-day basis. Not focusing on profitability but on growth implies that enough capital will be required to finance growth operations, until the investment actually generates new returns.

While growth is one more variable, many associate it with vain metrics, as they try to impact and focus on growth, without paying attention to what is really “in the bank” after all the corporate effort. Income growth alone rarely creates the great success that entrepreneurs dream of, and worse still, it is sometimes achieved through dangerous borrowing, high risk, or even sacrificing profits.
Indiscriminate strategies of growing just to grow have generated serious strategic errors with dire financial consequences. When organizations become obsessed with growing by excluding other objectives such as profitability from the analysis, they end up competing in markets where they do not have the required capabilities to gain an advantage and in the long term the organization ends up losing important value.

3. First profitability then growth

When a company focuses on profitability by limiting expenses, it can lead to stagnation, a condition that cannot be maintained for long if it is to continue to maintain the value and importance of the company in the market. Unfortunately, many companies find over time that ensuring profitability can be much harder to hit than the numbers associated with growth.

Mature companies understand that making decisions to abandon customers, products or even markets can involve a painful process in the face of growth, but that it is necessary and is almost a healthy practice to safeguard profitability, especially when the ultimate objective of any organization is to create and To distribute value, companies must meet their ability to grow their profits and not simply their income.

4 key factors to achieve profitable growth

1. APPROACH THROUGH THE STRATEGY

The main advantage that a company must have over its competitors is focus, that is, dedicating itself to a market segment and serving it as no one else can. However, a common mistake in your intention to grow is when you go after new customers or launch products without having a clear focus. An executive must select segments in which he can really make a difference, that allow him to grow and create relevant, differentiated and executable value propositions.

You should always ask: What challenges, constraints and risks do we have to grow profitably in those segments? The answers must be transformed into the company’s strategy, its approach and actions

2. DIFFERENTIATION THROUGH KEY COMPETENCES

A competition is the ability of a company to be better than the rest. What the entrepreneur must understand is what his key business activities are and invest in that: practices, people, technology. It should be very clear to any executive that companies do not compete with their products or services but with the skills they have in relation to their competitors. That is the true source of competitiveness. Copying a product is relatively easy; replicate a competition, no.

3. EXECUTION THROUGH MANAGEMENT

Management refers to the basic administrative cycle of planning, deciding, verifying and acting, which if not done efficiently, will have serious consequences for the company. The task is to create management mechanisms that the organization can replicate. It is a fundamental and unremarkable task that requires perseverance and detail. Because it is so simple, many executives do not carry it out and leave gaps in the management of the company, through which profitability escapes. This results in excess or obsolescence of inventories, higher costs, late recovery of the portfolio, among others, which in the end result in profitability and / or flow problems.

4. DEVELOPMENT THROUGH TALENT

Talent is the most important and critical issue for the company to develop. Understand what is required for key positions, have competent people, not necessarily with a lot of preparation and experience, but with aspirations and skills for the tasks of the position. An executive cannot be the todologist; he becomes the restriction of the company and a prisoner of his own creation. There is no way to overcome this other than through the right people and, in many cases, better than the executive himself for the position that is assigned to him. The main asset of an entrepreneur is the people with the capacity to grow professionally together with the company, who receive a fair remuneration and the required training.

The main task of an executive is to create a company that has the capacity to do business; his attention should be on this. There is no hidden science; achieving this requires discipline around these four dimensions. The scarce resource is having executives who are willing to develop those disciplines and, in the process, discipline themselves.

The search for profitable growth

Entrepreneurs want their businesses to grow. More products, more markets, more customers, more sales. More investments, extensions, expansion, more equity. There are many ways to measure the growth of a company; But the only thing that really counts is earnings growth. Profitable growth is the goal that the entrepreneur must seek.

In his company, the businessman tries to get everyone involved in the process. Growth is everyone’s business, it is something every day, every decision that is made and every step that is taken. Every day something happens in companies, and those things that happen will lead the company to success, or failure.
Entrepreneurs want to be successful in their businesses. Success is profitable growth.

Expanding the operations of a company, a larger size of the organization, more products, more square meters, more machinery or more sales, is not always real growth. All these elements can dazzle both people and others; but they are not always accompanied by profits. Worse, they are sometimes achieved through dangerous borrowing, high risk, or even sacrificing profits.

What works in the real world?

For almost 10 years I worked as a financial and accounting consultant; then 10 more years I specialized in financial reengineering, supporting companies facing terrible financial crises. Then I decided to specialize in utilities, and I now dedicate my consulting almost entirely to that. Why? Because I determined that many companies grow impressively; but without profit. This growth with debt –or risking the profit margin–, causes businesses to end up bankrupt in a short time due to lack of liquidity, high fixed costs and difficulties to operate on a day-to-day basis.

True profitable growth is made up of several components. Entrepreneurs do not always have sufficient control that they should over each of these elements, nor over the connections that exist between them. It is in this lack of control that the problems of low profitability in business originate.

The whole thing starts with taking over where it really should be held.

Some of these components are:

• The ability to effectively understand what the customer wants, and even to know if the company is in its right market niche.

• The ability to innovate and develop new products or services.

• The ability to have a truly competent sales force.

• The ability to accurately know the costs of each product or service.

• The ability to control and modify the production costs of each product or each service.

• The ability to adapt the structure of the company to your needs and get the most out of fixed costs.

• The ability to modify or negotiate the leverage structure and cost of capital.

All these knowledge are capacities in which the entrepreneur must invest time and money. They are related to growth indicators that should appear on the radar screen of every entrepreneur, and that must be looked at every day.