T he National Anthem of Guatemala was written by José Joaquín Palma (1844-1911) and composed by Rafael Álvarez Ovalle. The anthem was adopted in 1896 as the winning entry in a competition held by the government. The lyrics were modified slightly in 1934 by Professor Jose Maria Bonilla Ruano, a Spanish grammar scholar. Some verses were softened in their bloody context while others were enhanced in their poetic beauty. The anthem is often erroneously "titled" Guatemala Feliz! from its opening lyrics, but the anthem has no official name and is only referred to in the country as Himno Nacional. English Translation: Fortune Guatemala, may your altar Never be trampled by the tormentor Nor should slaves lick the yoke Nor should tyrants spit in your face If tomorrow your sacred soil Is threatened by foreign invasion Free into the wind, your beautiful flag To victory or death it will call CHORUS Free into the wind, your beautiful flag To victory or death it will call Since your people, with fiery soul Will be dead before enslaved. From your old and hard chains You forged, with an ire-driven hand, The plow that fertilizes the soil And the sword that saves honor. Our fathers fought one day, Lit up in patriotic burning And they were able, without bloody clash, To place you on a throne of love. And they were able, without bloody clash, To place you on a throne of love, That our Nation, in energetic assent, Gave life to the ideal redeemer. Your emblem shows a piece of the sky In which a cloud gets its whiteness Wretched is he who dares in madness stain your colors Well, your brave and proud sons who admire the peace within will never avoid the rough battles if they are to defend their land and their home. CHORUS They will never avoid the rough battles if they are to defend their land and their home that honor is the idea that reigns their souls and the altar of the mother country their altar Lying in the magnificent Ande with two oceans at hearing distance under the wing of seeds and gold you become entranced from the beautiful quetzal Native bird that lives in your seal protector that protects your soil hopefully he will fly high more than the condor and the royal eagle! CHORUS Hopefully he will fly high more than the condor and the royal eagle and in his wings, raise up to the sky: Guatemala, your immortal name!