Guatemala's economy is dominated by the private sector, which generates about 85 percent of GDP.
Guatemala is about the size of the U.S. state of Tennessee.
Guatemala's highlands lie atop the boundary between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates, and thus are subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Large portions of Guatemala's interior remain wholly undeveloped, including the nation's many rainforests and wetlands.
The first capital was named Tecpan Guatemala, founded in 1524 with the name of Villa de Santiago de Guatemala and was located near Iximchй, the Cakchiquel's capital city.
Almost immediately, the Israeli Government took over supplying the Guatemalan Army with advisers, weapons and other military supplies.
After discovering the New World, the Spanish mounted several peaceful expeditions to Guatemala beginning in 1518.
Arйvalo was the first democratically elected president of Guatemala to fully complete the term for which he was elected.
Guatemala is home to at least 8,681 species of vascular plants, of which 13.5 percent are endemic.
Ydigoras authorized the training of 5,000 anti-Castro Cubans in Guatemala.
According to Paul, the entire Christian faith hinges upon the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus.
The Constitutional Court (Corte de Constitucionalidad) is Guatemala's highest court.
Guatemala also has free trade agreements with Taiwan and Colombia.
From the 1950s through the 1990s, the U.S. government directly supported Guatemala's army with training, weapons, and money in an effort to stem the spread of communism in the region.
The country also has one public university (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala), and nine private ones.
Guatemala was certified to receive export trade benefits under the United States' Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act (CBTPA) in October 2000, and enjoys access to U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits.
Guatemala's location on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean makes it a target for hurricanes, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and Hurricane Stan in 2005, which killed more than 1,500 people.
Guatemala is composed of two main ethnic groupings, Mestizos, and Ladinos.
Guatemala City is home to many of the nation’s libraries and museums, including the National Archives, the National Library, and the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, which has an extensive collection of Mayan artifacts.
The Guatemalan government launched an assault that killed almost everyone inside as a result of a fire that consumed the building.
The most populous nation in Central America, Guatemala is a representative democracy with its capital at Guatemala City.
The Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, and is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petйn.
Guatemala's social indicators, such as infant mortality and illiteracy, are among the worst in the hemisphere.
Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contribute to Mesoamerica's designation as an important biodiversity hotspot.
Large divisions exist in the daily life of Guatemala.
The Guatemala National Prize in Literature is a one-time only award that recognizes an individual writer's body of work.
Guatemala has some 1,246 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
The years of Guatemalan civil war, as well as continual poverty, caused this Guatemalan diaspora.
In certain areas, such as Baja Verapaz, the Truth Commission considered that the Guatemalan state engaged in an intentional policy of genocide against particular ethnic groups during the Civil War.
In 1979, the United States president, Jimmy Carter, ordered a ban on all military aid to the Guatemalan Army because of the widespread and systematic abuse of human rights.
Over 36 percent, or about 39,380 kmІ of Guatemala is forested (2005).
More than one third of Guatemalans are Protestant, chiefly Evangelicals and Pentecostals.
Due to concerns over serious worker rights protection issues, however, Guatemala's benefits under both the CBTPA and GSP are currently under review.
During the colonial period, Guatemala was a Captaincy General of Spain, and a part of New Spain (Mexico).
Guatemala's 1985 Constitution provides for a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
Guatemala City is expanding at a rapid rate, and Quetzaltenango, the second largest city, is growing as well.
Another economically important factor is the remittances from Guatemalans working abroad.
Political parties in Guatemala are generally numerous and unstable.
The problem of illiteracy poses a great challenge for Guatemala's future growth.
About two thirds of Guatemala is mountainous, except for the south coastal area and the northern vast lowlands of the Petйn department.
The Guatemalan government claimed that the activists set the fire and immolated themselves.
Guatemala recognized Belize's independence in 1990, but their territorial dispute is not resolved.
On June 13, 2007 a 6.8 Magnitude earthquake hit the pacific coast of Guatemala, but there were no reports of death or major damage.
Guatemala's politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Guatemala is both head of state and head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system.
Guatemala has 37 volcanoes, four of them active: Pacaya, Santiaguito, Fuego and Tacanб.
In 1966, Julio Cйsar Mйndez Montenegro was elected president of Guatemala under the banner "Democratic Opening."
In 1999, U.S. president Bill Clinton stated that the United States was wrong to have provided support to Guatemalan military forces that took part in the brutal civilian killings.
During the race the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG (in Spanish) Frente Republicano Guatemalteco) organized what later became known as Black Tuesday.
The Guatemalan provinces formed the United Provinces of Central America, also called the Central American Federation (Federacion de Estados Centroamericanos).
Guatemala, country of Central America. The dominance of an Indian culture within its interior uplands distinguishes Guatemala from its Central American neighbours. The origin of the name Guatemala is Indian, but its derivation and meaning are undetermined.
The housing deficit in Guatemala is estimated at approximately 1.2 million homes. Many of these families live in makeshift houses made of materials such as adobe, corrugated sheet metal, wooden planks or palm thatching. Approximately 31% of houses have dirt floors (59% among the poor).
Etymology. The name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān (nahwiki), or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees" or perhaps more specifically for the Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia.
Roman Catholicism was the official religion during the colonial era. Evangelical Protestantism (Protestants are called Evangelicos in Latin America) and later Orthodoxy have increased in recent decades. About 40% of Guatemalans are Protestant, chiefly independent Evangelicals and Pentecostals.
Football (soccer) is Guatemala's most popular sport. The national team competes internationally, and Guatemalan players figure prominently in clubs in other national leagues, especially those of Mexico and Uruguay.
The culture of Guatemala reflects strong Mayan and Spanish influences and continues to be defined as a contrast between poor Mayan villagers in the rural highlands, and the urbanized and relatively wealthy mestizos population (known in Guatemala as ladinos) who occupy the cities and surrounding agricultural plains.
The celebrations are a mix of Mayan and Christian traditions and include processions through the streets on rugs made of dyed sawdust especially for the occasion. May 1: Día del Trabajo (Labor Day) - The largest celebration is in Guatemala City, but there are many parties and parades all around the country.
Guatemalan cuisine may be most known for its many varieties of tamales. Unlike Mexican tamales, the Guatemalan version is usually steamed in a banana leaf. Tamales colorado, or red tamales, are colored with annatto seed and stuffed with tomato sauce, chilies, raisins and meat, usually chicken or pork.
Three of the main guatemalan dishes:Chiles rellenos: Chile peppers stuffed with rice, cheese, meat and vegetables. They are served with tortilla and tomato sauce.Chicken Pepian: Chicken in spicy pumpkin and sesame sauce. ... Kak'ik: A traditional Mayan turkey soup, with spices like coriander, achiote, and chile peppers.