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Basic Facts about Guatemala

  • Spanish is the official language of Guatemala. For 60% of the population, it’s their first language. 40% of the population also communicate using Amerindian languages (21 Mayan dialects to be exact), including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca.
  • Approximately 15,531,208 people live in Guatemala
  • The official currency used in Guatemala is the Quetzal
  • Guatemala is a relatively small country, covering a total surface of 108,890 kilometres squared. This is divided between 108,430 kilometres squared of land and 460 kilometres squared of water.
  • Guatemala’s main industries are sugar, textiles and clothing, petroleum, rubber and tourism.
  • Its capital city is Guatemala City and has a metropolitan population of 2.5 million people.
  • It has coastlines along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but it also shares land borders with El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras and Belize.
  • Guatemala’s first inhabitants are thought to have been around since 18,000 B.C.
  • It was the centre of the Mayan civilization.
  • Even though it is a relatively small country, it is home to 33 volcanoes.
  • Guatemala’s civil war lasted for 36 years, from 1960 to 1996.
  • Half of Guatemala’s population are direct descendants of the Maya.


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