Country - Guatemala
Guatemala Country Information
Guatemala is a nation in the Central America. Officially, Guatemala is referred to as Republic of Guatemala. The capital of Guatemala is named after the country itself, Guatemala and the city is also known as Nueva Guatemala de la Asuncion. Like many of its counterparts in Central America and South American continent, Guatemala has Spanish as its official language.
The northern and western borders are shared by Mexico and the southern border is exposed to the Pacific Ocean. A great part of eastern border is common with Belize and the remaining part and south eastern border are shared by Honduras and El Salvador. A small part of eastern border is doused by the North Atlantic Ocean waters. Guatemala is among the several countries which have coastlines touching two different oceans.
Guatemala was the victim of wars for sovereignty over several centuries. The entire territory of the country was once the heartland of Maya civilization which lasted till 900 A.D. The land underwent severe droughts, famine which wiped out 80-90% of the native population. The area was brought under the Spanish rule since 1519 which lasted for about 300 years. Following the continuous struggles for power, finally on March 21, 1847 Guatemala declared itself officially as an independent nation. A spate of frequent fights and conspiracies ensued thereafter and the Guatemala civil war that began in 1954 ended in 1996 on reaching a peace pact between the guerillas and the government. The country is currently a constitutional democratic republic wherein both the posts head of the state and head of the government is held by the President.
In spite of being the largest economy in Central America, more than 50% of population lives below poverty line in Guatemala. The chronic instability in political power and internal strife aggravated the uneven income distribution between the rice and the poor. The major exports include coffee, raw sugar, bananas, vegetables, other fruits, petroleum, apparel, cardamom etc., whereas the imports are mainly broadcasting equipment, computers, telephones, packaged medicaments, pesticides, cars, cereal grains.
There are about 33 volcanoes inn Guatemala. Some of them can be viewed closely by taking a boat ride. The Lake Atitlan is the right spot to take you to Volcan de Pacaya. Marshmallows pierced to the long needles are roasted before eating by inserting them between hot pebbles near the base of the volcanoes.
Tikan is the city which flashes in the minds of natives when they are enquired about ancient Mayan ruins. Right in the middle of the forest plain lands, one can get to see the stone gigantic pyramids which were built systematically with stone staircases starting from the base of pyramids to reach the top.
At Dalton estate, coffee plant saplings grown in the fertile soil-bags can be seen in tens of thousands arranged in lines on the ground. Guatemala too has exotic locations of scenic beauty like swirling waterfalls amid dark green thick forests, placid lakes running cheek by jowl the hutments and small tile-roofed bungalows fitted with wooden staircases for viewing the waterfalls that flow right below your feet. The rustic riverside lodges add to the tranquil beauty of the less populated locales.