In Alta Verapaz Guatemala, a new class of mixed-race children produced from unions between German coffee plantation owners and Maya women had come of age by the 1930s. Drawing on their stories developed through an analysis of oral histories and archival materials, this paper examines how these interracial children negotiated between the German romanticization of Maya culture and language and their desire to leave behind the stain of indigeneity. This delicate balance between being neither fully German nor Maya ruptured, however, during the rise of German National Socialism and the populist dictatorship of Jorge Ubico and the contradictory demands of German and Guatemalan nationalisms. In the process, Maya-Germans confronted the limits of interracial love, the betrayals of their fathers, and the ability of romance to reproduce racial hierarchy.
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