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Deaf Culture

            Who are the Deaf? What is the difference of being deaf at birth and acquire deafness at an advanced age? The deaf people are people with no ability to hear, but they can learn how to use their voice right way.

The word “to listen” means “to attend” to the details where the sounds and commands come from. People with hearing impairments are forced to listen, since they have no ability to hear or communicate with spoken language. However, the Deaf people can communicate through sign language, gestures, or paper and pen. In their Deaf culture, there will always be noise, light flickering, stomping the floor, or waving in the vision scope of the other persons around to get attention.

            Sign Language is designed for deaf people and people with “hearing problems.” It has their own language structures, for example, the expressions can be represented by grammar and feelings. However, each deaf person has their own way to communicate with each other. Sign language is internationally recognized, and each country has its own sign language. However, there is one thing that is very similar in those sign different languages: the gestures! There are some grammar similarities in the different sign languages to help Deaf people understand signs in other languages. Guatemalan Sign Language (LSG) is not a translation into Spanish. If learning LSG, please do not try to use Spanish grammar to speak in sign language, the deaf people will not understand what you are saying.

            Using sign language is a positive thing for Deaf people, due to the fact that they can communicate with their hands, expressions, and gestures with others. They can sign to other persons far way, for example, in a bar or ballroom, rather than having to get closer to talk. Deaf people can sing, joke, discuss, educate others, write poems, and everything else. There is a poem written by Willard Madsen, a deaf professor from Gallaudet University, “You must be deaf to understand!”, in which he describes how a deaf person feels when no one understands him.

            Deaf people can do anything except hearing. They can be doctors, teachers, presidents, bakers, parents, athletes, and etc. They can learn quickly and adapt when they are given the opportunity to do so.


           Deaf people do have the same rights as everyone else does. There are several laws and protocols to protect the rights of deaf persons. Here are some links for you to look at.


Global Disability Rights Now! (Guatemala)

The documents below are in Spanish:

United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities-


Guatemala Law for the care of Persons with Disabilities Law Decree No. 135-96-



The videos below are for you to view and learn some Guatemalan Sign Language (LENSEGUA):







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