Guatemala means “woodland” and this is a country full of forests and mountains. Guatemala borders Mexico to the north, El Salvador to the south, Belize to the northeast and Honduras. The country has a coast towards the Pacific Ocean and a coast towards the Caribbean Sea. With Guatemalan settlements in Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, the country claims this land. The lowlands along the Pacific coast merge into volcanic Sierra Madre and other highlands. After that, the country descends to lowlands with forests in the north and here you also have a coast to the Caribbean.
More about Guatemala
About a thousand years ago, the Maya civilization flourished and even today you can see ruins from this in the Guatemalan landscape. It is believed that about half of the Guatemalans are descendants of the Maya people. The other part of the population is known as Ladinos, which means that they are a mixture of Mayans and Spaniards. One can see a difference in society between these two main groups in that Ladinos are modernized and live in big cities while Mayan descendants often continue to live traditional lives in the countryside. This has led to divisions in society and it was not until 1996 that the guerrilla movement and the government were able to agree and put an end to the civil war that had been going on for almost 40 years.
Today, Guatemala is a democracy. The capital which is also the largest city is called Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción but is also called Guatemala City. Guatemala has a great biological richness with unique ecosystems and endemic species. The country is also known for its rich culture which is a kind of mix between Spanish and Native American culture.
Geography and climate
According to BRIDGAT.COM, Guatemala is mountainous and also has a small desert area. Two mountain ranges stretch into Guatemala from west to east, and they divide the country into three main regions, namely the highlands, the Pacific coast south of the mountains and the Petén region north of the mountains. The largest cities are in the highlands and on the Pacific coast. The regions have slightly different climates, which depends on altitude and landscape. This means that in Guatemala you can experience sharp contrasts between different areas in terms of temperature and humidity. Volcán Tajumulco with a peak of 4,220 is the highest point in the country and also the highest point in the Central American countries.
In the mountains there are several volcanoes and Guatemala is sometimes hit by earthquakes. As the country is located on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is also affected by tropical cyclones that can lead to major flooding problems. The country’s natural resources consist of nickel, petroleum, fish, exotic woods and fish and hydropower.
There are problems in the country with crime and poverty, but they are working to take the economy from coffee and agriculture to industrial production and tourism. One of the main tourist destinations is Tikal in northern Guatemala where there are several thousand buildings from the Maya period. The industry works with textiles, clothing, furniture, chemicals and sugar. They export coffee, sugar, bananas, fruits and vegetables as well as meat and cardamom.