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Guatemala

Everything you need to know about Guatemala: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Guatemala: The Central American Land of Eternal Spring

Guatemala's history largely comprises of a troublesome past. The Mayan civilization originated in Guatemala around the first millennium A.D. Spanish colonizers invaded it for over three centuries until it gained its independence in the year 1821. From the 20 th century it underwent a series of military invasions that formed the administration of the country. In the year 1996, the government of Guatemala signed a peace treaty to put an end to the turmoil, which had affected the lives of many people.

Guatemala Fast Facts :

  • National Name : Republic of Guatemala
  • National Capital : Guatemala
  • Total Area : 108,890 sq km
  • Total Population : 13,002,206 (July 2008 est.)
  • Ethnic races : Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 59.4%, K'iche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Q'eqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census)
  • Religions : Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
  • Currency : quetzal
  • GDP per capita (PPP) : $5,100 (2007 est.)
  • Languages : Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
  • Life expectancy : 67 years (men), 74 years (women) (UN)
  • Literacy Rate : 69.1% (2002 census)

Guatemala Geography, Climate and Economy :

Geographically, Guatemala mostly comprises of mountainous ranges with narrow coastal plains and the limestone plateau called Peten. The lowest point is in Pacific Ocean at 0m and the highest point is in Volcan Tajumulco at 4,211m. The area along the Pacific and the Caribbean coast and the northern lowlands is largely tropical.

The climate of Guatemala is largely tropical. The temperature remains hot and humid in the lowlands while it remains pleasant in the highlands. The coastal regions are hot along with dry and rainy season averaging at 20 degree Celsius. The highlands receive less rainfall comparatively and experience cold temperatures at night.

Guatemala comprises of a large population, which is the highest among the Central American countries. But the GDP per capita accounts to nearly one-half of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. About one tenth of the GDP comprises of agricultural sector along with two fifth of exports and half the labour force. The main export products are Coffee, sugar and bananas. Also around 56% of the population is below the line of poverty, which leads to unequal income distribution.

Culture and Cuisine of Guatemala:

The culture of Guatemala is deeply influenced by the Mayan and Spanish cultures. The major influence of Mayan civilization is depicted through Mayan ruins and the ancient buildings dating back to the colonial period. Besides this, the unique part comprises of exotic variety of indigenous tradition, which includes their handicraft skills. Spanish is their main language and mostly there are Christian followers.

The culinary tradition of Guatemala depicts the multicultural influences among the indigenous population. The tastes vary according to different regions. Likewise, Antigua Guatemala is famous for its candy made of fruits and honey. The Mayan cuisine includes corn, chilies and beans added as ingredients.

Tourist Sites in Guatemala:

There are a number of places to visit in Guatemala. The main and the popular tourist sites are Guatemala City, Antigua, Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan. In the Guatemala City there is a National Museum of Arts that comprises of a historical museum, an old library and furniture display. Plaza Mayor is yet another historic site. There are a number of entertainment centers too including the Historical Shopping Arcade.

Some Other Tourist Sites are :

  • Livingston
  • Panajachel
  • Quetzaltenango
  • San Pedro La Laguna
  • Santa Catarina Palopa
  • Santiago Atitlan
  • Tikal National Park
  • Todos Santos Cuchumatanes

Mexican poet wins human rights prize

April 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Mexico City, April 23 (IANS/EFE) Poet Javier Sicilia received the Sergio Mendez Arceo Human Rights Prize this weekend for his efforts to promote peace in Mexico.

'Bunga bunga' showgirls performed nun striptease for Berlusconi

April 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

London, April 17 (ANI): Giving evidence at Silvio Berlusconi's trail, a model has revealed that showgirls dressed as nuns performed a pole-dancing striptease for the former Italian prime minister at a 'bunga bunga' party at his luxury villa at Arcore.

Guatemala arrests former top cop for killings

March 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Guatemala City, March 24 (IANS/EFE) Former police director Marlene Blanco and two ex-cops were arrested Friday on charges of conspiring to carry out extrajudicial executions, said a spokesman for the UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.

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Travel management firm Egencia expands global footprint to seven new countries

February 1, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Gurgaon, Feb.1 (ANI): Travel management company Egencia on Wednesday announced that it has expanded its global footprint to seven more countries.

Travel management firm Egencia expands global footprint to seven new countries

February 1, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Gurgaon, Feb.1 (ANI): Travel management company Egencia on Wednesday announced that it has expanded its global footprint to seven more countries.

Robert F Kennedy feared mafia would blind his kids in acid attack

January 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

London, Jan 24 (ANI): Robert F Kennedy, the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, feared that his children would be blinded by the mafia in an acid attack as a revenge for investigating them, his widow has revealed in a new film.

Robert F Kennedy feared mafia would blind his kids in acid attack

January 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM

London, Jan 24 (ANI): Robert F Kennedy, the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, feared that his children would be blinded by the mafia in an acid attack as a revenge for investigating them, his widow has revealed in a new film.

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