Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Foreign Languages

Reader 1

Carmen Sanjuán-Pastor

Reader 2

Fazia Aitel

Reader 3

César G. López

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Rights Information

© 2012 Michelle Diana Gloster


This thesis examines the commercialization of ethnic tourism in Guatemala and Morocco in a postcolonial world. Addressing notions of authenticity, Western expectations of the ethnic tourism experience, and colonial portrayals of the Mayas and the Berbers, the thesis argues that the Guatemalan and Moroccan governments reduce their indigenous populations to ‘authentic’ living museums in their touristic promotions targeting Western tourists. Catering to Western tourists’ expectations, the Guatemalan and Moroccan governments perpetuate the stereotypes of their indigenous populations that were established during colonialism. Despite Guatemalan and Moroccan cultural repression of the Maya and the Berber populations, respectively, the governments exploit their indigenous populations for touristic purposes.