Guatemala General Information

Guatemala General Information

The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala 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, and a 36-year guerrilla war.

Capital of Guatemala

Guatemala City

Currency Quetzal, exchange rate:

1 US$ = 7.75 Quetzals, Q (1 January 2012).

Administrative divisions

22 departments; Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa.

Population

12.7 millions growth rate 2.2% (July 2007). Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish, in local Spanish called Ladino) 59,4%, indigenous Mayan 40,3%, others 0,3%.

Languages

Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi).

Religions

Roman Catholic, Protestant, traditional Mayan.

Climate

Tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands.

Geography

108,890 sq. km. Mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau in Peten.

National Anthem

Watch to the National Anthem of Guatemala

Public holidays

January 1 – New Years Day.
March/April – Easter Wednesday, Holy Saturday and Good Friday.
May 1 – Labor Day.
June 30 – Army Day.
August 15 – Virgen de la Asunción (Only Guatemala City).
September 15 – Independence Day (1821 from Spain).
October 20 – Revolution of 1944.
November 1 – All the Saints Day.
December 24 – Christmas Eve (from 12:00 p.m.).
December 25 – Christmas Day.
December 31 – New Years Eve (from 12:00 p.m.).

Newspapers

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Natural resources

Petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower.

Industries

Sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism.

Agriculture products

Sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens.

GDP

US$ 61.4 billion, real growth rate 4.6%, per capita US$ 5,000 (2006 est.).

Exports

US$ 6 billion (f.o.b., 2006 est.). coffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom.