Guatemala



Official Country Name
Guatemala

Guatemala Overview
The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created some 1 million refugees.

Guatemala Economy
Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-fifths of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. The 1996 signing of peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and Guatemala since then has pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. On July 1, 2006, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) entered in to force between the United States and Guatemala. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with about 56% of the population below the poverty line. Other ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, upgrading both government and private financial operations, curtailing drug trafficking, and narrowing the trade deficit. Remittances from a large expatriate community that moved to the United States during the war have become the primary source of foreign income, exceeding the total value of exports and tourism combined.

Guatemala Location
Guatemala is located in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize

Region
Guatemala is located in Central America

Guatemala Population
Guatemala has population of 12,293,545 (July 2006 est.)

Guatemala Climate
Guatemala has tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

Guatemala Terrain
mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau

Guatemala Natural Resources
petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower

Ethnic Groups in Guatemala
Guatemala has the following ethnic groups - 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)

Guatemala Religions
Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs

Guatemala Languages
Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)

Guatemala Capital
Guatemala capital is Guatemala

Guatemala Currency
Guatemala currency is quetzal

Map of Guatemala