33 interesting facts about Guatemala

Located in Central America, the country of Guatemala is a beautiful place, but far from the most prosperous. This is a real land of contrasts – mountains overgrown with forests and impassable jungle on the one hand, a creepy-looking slum on the other, and rare islands of well-fed life are tightly fenced off from the surrounding reality with barbed wire and high fences. A lot of good people live in Guatemala, but you have to keep an eye out here – the crime situation here, alas, does not conducive to appeasement.

Facts about Guatemala

  1. The name of the country comes from Aztec language, one of the local native dialects, and translates as «place of many trees».
  2. Guatemala has a population of 16.8 million.
  3. 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.
  4. Among other Latin American countries, Guatemala is one of the least safe, along with El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras (interesting facts about Honduras).
  5. The territories of modern Guatemala in the first quarter of the 16th century were conquered by the Spaniards, who conquered the Maya Indians and equipped here its colony.
  6. This country is washed by two oceans at once – the Pacific and the Atlantic.
  7. In the Guatemalan rivers, crocodiles are found in abundance, more precisely, caimans are dangerous predators. However, the local population willingly eats them, despite the fact that it is not easy to catch such prey.
  8. There are many active volcanoes in Guatemala, and earthquakes constantly shake the country. In 1976, one of them completely destroyed about 90% of the capital and several other cities, led to huge casualties and left about a million people homeless (interesting facts about earthquakes).
  9. About half of all Guatemalans anyway involved in agriculture.
  10. Guatemala consistently ranks among the top 10 countries in terms of coffee production.
  11. Maya Indians account for about a third of the total local population, that is, about two million people. And almost 3% of Guatemalans permanently residing in the country are Americans, mostly businessmen and employees of large companies.
  12. In Guatemala, only about 70% of the population is literate.
  13. The territorial dispute between this country and neighboring Belize has been going on for more than 150 years, and there is no end in sight.
  14. The civil war in Guatemala lasted for 36 years, from 1960 to 1996. The echoes of these troubled times are felt here to this day.
  15. In 2010, a powerful hurricane hit the capital of the country, after which a karst failure suddenly formed right in the city center, which had a diameter of about 30 meters and a depth of about 20 meters, and swallowed a 3-story building (interesting facts about hurricanes).
  16. According to statistics, women in Guatemala spend more time at work than in any other country in the world.
  17. It is in this country that the highest point in all of Central America is located. This is the summit of the Tajumulco Volcano.
  18. Guatemalan Natural Reserve «Petén» is the second largest rainforest in the world.
  19. The national Guatemalan musical instrument is called «marimba», and it is still practically not studied outside this state. Its peculiarity lies in its most complex design – depending on the particular instance, from 6 to 12 people are required to play the marimba at the same time.
  20. The largest lake in Guatemala, Izabal, is notable for the fact that in its vicinity there is a unique waterfall with hot water (interesting facts about waterfalls).
  21. The University of San Carlos in Guatemala City is the largest in Central America and the fourth largest in the Western Hemisphere.
  22. It was in this country that instant coffee was invented in 1910.
  23. Coffee beans served in «Starbucks» around the world, grown in Guatemala.
  24. In total, there are as many as 33 volcanoes in this country, 4 of which are active.
  25. In Guatemala, there are more types of coniferous trees used in industry than in any other country in the world.
  26. Once the capital of this state was the town of Antigua Guatemala. Now it is in fact an open-air museum city.
  27. Guatemala is the only country in Latin America with 4 active volcanoes.
  28. In the capital of Guatemala, streets are assigned numbers instead of names.
  29. The Guatemalan currency Quetzal got its name from a bird revered by the Mayans and the Aztecs. In the past, local natives used the feathers of this bird as money. Quetzal also flaunts on the flag of Guatemala (interesting facts about flags).
  30. A unique ceiba tree grows in the Guatemalan forests, growing up to 50 meters in height. Various holidays and festivals are regularly held in his honor, especially in rural areas.
  31. Guatemala is one of the most popular locations in the world for filming feature films and music videos.
  32. The country has an officially established in 1934 the national flower. They became the orchid Lycaste virginalis, which is called the “white nun” here.
  33. Guatemala is the second largest producer of sugarcane in the world and the fifth largest exporter of this product.
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