ETHNONYMS: Cholotí, Chorté, Chortí
The overwhelming majority of the Ch'orti' (52,000), a highland Maya Indian people, live in the Chiquimula Department of Guatemala. The remaining 4,000 or so live in the department of Copán in Honduras. They have traditionally depended on maize and beans for subsistence. The K'iche' Maya had dominated the Ch'orti' since the early fifteenth century, but by the 1520s the Spanish had become the primary regional power. Warfare and disease killed many Ch'orti' during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and in the nineteenth century the Ch'orti' lost much of their land to the Guatemalan government. During the 1980s, 25 percent of the Guatemalan Ch'orti' came to the United States to escape political persecution.