Interesting facts about Guatemala


Posted on Sep 30, 2021      45


In Central America, Guatemala is a beautiful place, but not the most prosperous. It is a true land of contrasts - forested mountains and impenetrable jungle on one side, eerie-looking slums on the other, and rare islands of prosperous life are tightly fenced off from the surrounding reality by barbed wire and high fences. There are a lot of good people in Guatemala, but you have to keep your eyes peeled for a crime situation that, alas, is not exactly peaceful.

Facts about Guatemala

  • The name of the country comes from the Astec language, one of the local indigenous languages, and translates as “a place of many trees.
  • The capital of the country is the city of the same name - Guatemala. Founded hundreds of years ago, it is the largest in Central America.
  • Among other Latin American countries, Guatemala is one of the least safe, along with El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.
  • The territory of modern Guatemala in the first quarter of the XVI century was conquered by the Spanish, who subjugated the Maya and settled here as a colony.
  • This country is washed by two oceans - the Pacific and Atlantic.
  • Guatemalan rivers are abundant in crocodiles, more precisely caimans, dangerous predators. However, the local population eagerly consumes them as food, although catching such prey is difficult.

  • Guatemala has many active volcanoes and is constantly shaken by earthquakes. In 1976, one of them actually destroyed about 90% of the capital and several other cities, causing enormous loss of life and leaving about a million people homeless.
  • About half of all Guatemalans are involved in agriculture in one way or another.
  • Guatemala consistently ranks among the top 10 countries in coffee production.
  • The Maya Indians make up about a third of the total local population, that is, about two million people. And almost 3% of permanent residents of Guatemala are Americans, mostly business executives and employees of large companies.
  • In Guatemala, only about 70% of the population is literate.
  • The territorial dispute between this country and neighboring Belize has been going on for over 150 years, and there is no end in sight.
  • The civil war in Guatemala lasted for 36 years, from 1960 to 1996. The reverberations of these turbulent times are still felt here today.
  • In 2010, a powerful hurricane hit the capital of the country, after which a sinkhole suddenly formed right in the city center. It had a diameter of about 30 meters and a depth of about 20 meters, and swallowed a 3-story building.
  • According to statistics, women in Guatemala spend more time at work than in any other country in the world.
  • It is on the territory of this country is the highest point in all of Central America. It is the summit of the volcano Tajumulco.
  • Guatemala’s Peten Natural Reserve is the second largest rainforest on Earth.
  • Guatemala’s national musical instrument is called the marimba, and it is still largely unexplored outside of this state. Its peculiarity lies in its intricate construction - depending on the particular specimen, playing the marimba requires the simultaneous participation of 6 to 12 people.

  • Guatemala’s largest lake, Isabal, is notable for the unique hot waterfall located in its vicinity.
  • The University of San Carlos in Guatemala City is the largest in Central America and the fourth largest in the Western Hemisphere.
  • It was in this country that instant coffee was invented in 1910.
  • The coffee beans served in Starbucks coffee houses all over the world were grown in Guatemala.
  • There are a total of 33 volcanoes in this country, 4 of which are active.
  • Guatemala has more species of conifers used in industry than any other country in the world.
  • Once the capital of this state was the town of Antigua Guatemala. Now it is actually a city-museum in the open air.
  • Guatemala is the only country in Latin America with four active volcanoes.
  • In Guatemala’s capital city, streets are given numbers instead of names.
  • Guatemala’s quetzal currency gets its name from a bird revered by the Maya and Aztecs. In the past, the local natives used the feathers of this bird as money. The quetzal also appears on the flag of Guatemala.
  • In the forests of Guatemala grows a unique tree seiba, which grows to a height of 50 meters. In its honor, various holidays and festivals are regularly organized, especially in rural areas.
  • Guatemala is one of the most popular places in the world for filming feature films and music videos.

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