The Jakalteko are a western Maya Indian group. Estimates of their population vary from 16,000 to more than 32,000. Nearly all of them live in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala, but approximately 1,000 live nearby, across the border in Mexico. Much of their land has been taken in the Guatemalan federal government's land-privatization program, and, as a result, many Jakalteko have become migrant laborers. In the 1980s many of the Guatemalan Jakalteko relocated to the United States to escape government persecution.