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Guatemala - Country facts

Map

Small map of Guatemala
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Flag

Country flag: Guatemala

Capital

Guatemala

Currency

quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD),

Internet Code

.gt

Location

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

Background

The Maya 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.

Climate

tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

Terrain

mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)

Population

14,655,189 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian - in local Spanish called Ladino) approximately 55%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian, approximately 43%, whites and others 2%

Religions

Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs

Languages

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

Map of Guatemala

Large map of Guatemala
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