Pedro Gonzalez


Pedro Gonzalez is from San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan. He is in his thirties and started painting in 2000. Before that he worked in the fields and carried firewood from the mountains to survive and support his family. He had to climb up steep and slippery paths. It was hard on his body and he was often hungry, thirsty and exhausted. He decided he needed to find another way to survive and started to go to night school on top of working long hard hours to learn painting. His teacher saw great talent in him and encouraged him to pursue a career as a painter, but he could not afford the monthly costs of the classes, so he decided to continue practicing on his own and as he says - “with the help of God I was able to develop my skills and be successful as a painter”. He now has taken up painting as a career and says it is a way for him to get out of poverty and support his family. He lives with his mother and other family members and the income he makes helps to put food on the table. He is also teaching his cousins so they can also benefit from the extra income that painting can bring them.

Pedro does not take personal credit for his talent. Like most Mayan people of San Pedro, he is deeply religious and gives credit for his painting talent to God. He believes his paintings derives from a “spirit” of their own, speak for themselves and are essentially a creation of God.

Painting is very important to him as a way to transmit knowledge and appreciation for his Mayan way of life, values and beliefs and in that way to help preserve his culture. There are a number of subjects and themes that are important to him. One of the predominant subject matter of his paintings are women. He likes to portray women wearing their traditional “trajes” (elaborately embroidered blouses). Almost all the women still wear these and this represents how they continue to honor their customs. Another subject is the women going to market with their goods to sell on top of their heads. This shows how important the traditional “mercados” (open air markets) are for the daily life and for making money or trading goods to survive. Often he will paint women carrying their children because he wants to honor how important the women are in raising the child – how the mother speaks to the child, cares for the child and how the child learns from their mother. The importance of women in the Mayan family and society are common themes for many of the painters.

Another important message he would like to send with his paintings is uniting the people of the different villages. There are many different Mayan groups and a long history of competing and sometimes warfare among them. He would like to see more unity and cooperating and so often his paintings show the people from different villages together.

He also cares deeply about nature and his Mayan roots teach, mother earth should be revered and respected and cared for. Some of his paintings show Lake Atitlan which is currently very challenged by pollution. He hopes his portrayal of the beauty of the lake will help people to take better care of it.

Pedro hopes that his paintings will speak to and inspire his own people and help people from other parts of the world to better understand and appreciate his Mayan values, history and culture.


3c crunched udpkob

Verified Secure Website with Safe Checkout

This website provides a secure checkout with SSL encryption.


Your cart is currently empty.

Saved Successfully.

This is only visible to you because you are logged in and are authorized to manage this website. This message is not visible to other website visitors.


Import From Instagram

Click on any Image to continue

Create a New Favorite List


Badge ar compatible

The above preview shows how to use the live preview on this website. The image displayed is just an example, and is not available for sale.

Badge ar compatible

This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!


Manage Favorites

Below, select which favorite lists you would like to save this product into.

The GuateMaya Art and Culture Connection

Newsletter Sign-Up


Enter your email below and we'll email you a 20% OFF Coupon right now!

= required

This offer is valid for NEW CUSTOMERS only!