Map from www.lonelyplanet.com
Facts About Guatemala:
A land of mountains, volcanoes and lakes
43% Spanish-speaking Latinos, 2% Afro-Caribbean, 54% Amerindian (descendants of the Mayan civilization)
There are 19 people groups of the Amerindian who speak 41 different languages
Capital – Guatemala City, population more than 4,000,000
Economy is primarily agricultural with 2% of the population owning 80% of the land
This inequitable use of land has kept the majority in poverty and was the root cause of the guerrilla war
Independent from Spain in 1821, but was then controlled by a few plantation owners and then a series of dictatorships and military governments
Guerrilla insurgency lasted from 1962 until 1997 and provoked a violent reaction.
In 1976, 23,000 died after a powerful earthquake.
The recent signing of the peace accord between the government and the guerrillas brings hope that the current peace will remain
For over 500 years the indigenous people have lived in terrible and unjust conditions. Today they lack of opportunities for education, health care, and a decent salary, the majority just survives from agriculture work
49% of the children under 5 years old suffer from chronic malnutrition, and 70% of these children are indigenous.
People who live in poverty 56.2% and in extreme poverty 15.7%.
Area: 108,890 sq. km. (42,042 sq. mi.); about the size of
Cities: Capital --
Other major cities --Quetzaltenango, Escuintla.
Terrain: Mountainous, with fertile coastal plain.
Climate: Temperate in highlands; tropical on coasts.
Nationality: Noun and adjective --Guatemalan(s).
Population (2006 est.): 12.3 million.
Annual population growth rate (2006 est.): 2.27%.
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Spanish-Indian), indigenous.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, traditional Mayan.
Languages: Spanish, 24 indigenous languages (principally Kiche, Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi, and Mam).
Education: Years compulsory --6. Attendance --41%. Literacy--70.6%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--36.9/1,000. Life expectancy --65.19 yrs.
Work force salaried breakdown: Services --40%; industry and commerce --37%; agriculture --15%; construction, mining, utilities --4%. Fifty percent of the population engages in some form of agriculture, often at the subsistence level outside the monetized economy.
More than half of Guatemalans are descendants of indigenous Mayan peoples. Westernized Mayans and mestizos (mixed European and indigenous ancestry) are known as Ladinos. Most of
The Mayan civilization flourished throughout much of