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Opening a Bank Account in Guatemala (for Gringos without a DPI)

Opening a Bank Account in Guatemala (for Gringos without a DPI)

Doing normal adult things in another country can seem pretty difficult at times. There are multiple reasons why but some of the main few are because you don’t speak the language very well (in some cases not at all), not having access to certain requirements, information you’ve been given by locals or other expats/missionaries was incorrect and honestly, things are just different.

In this case, ‘Opening a Bank Account’ in Guatemala has posed some similar issues but it turns out not to be as difficult as you’d think. We have listed some simple tips and information below that we hope you will find useful.

To start, ask those that you are in contact with the most to see what bank they would suggest. For example, some banks have multiple branches in specific locations that may be easier for you to access. In other cases, learn what banks offer the best ‘exchange rate’ for your USD and some banks are just better for personal and others for businesses/non-profits/etc.

Once you’ve selected the bank that is best, then begin the process of opening an account.

In our case, we chose a certain bank because they offered a better exchange rate, the location and easy usage for account-to-account transfers.

It took several attempts, but we were finally successful in opening our account as a Gringo with no DPI. Once you’ve obtained all of the required documents, you will be ready to go and open an account too.

——— • ——— • ———

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions...

Requirements are:

• Copy of Utility Bill (current or previous printout only)

• Original Passport

• 2 Reference Letters from a local resident that has a DPI (you will need the letter to include your full name and passport number, the author of the letter must sign the letter with a matching signature on their DPI)

• Enlarged color copy of the front and back of their DPI

Additional information needed:

• Your email

• US Address and Phone Number


• Beneficiary Name

• Opening cash amount

• Church/Ministry of Business affiliation

——— • ——— • ———

Best of luck to you fellow expats/missionaries in opening your own personal bank account in Guatemala. It’s just the first step of getting settled in here.

- You’ve got this!

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