Updated: Oct 1, 2022
Guatemala or officially the Republic of Guatemala.
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Reason for Naming the country
The name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān (nahwiki), or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees".
This was the name that the Tlaxcaltecan warriors who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
The current Guatemalan flag was adopted on December 26, 1997. The flag of Guatemala consists of three even-sized vertical stripes the left and right stripes are sky blue, and the middle stripe is white. In the middle of the white stripe and flag is Guatemala's coat of arms. The coat of arms consists of a shield with two rifles and two golden swords tied with laurel branches, on a light blue field. There are also golden letters that read "Libertad 15 de Septiembre de 1821." Above, there is a Quetzal bird which is the symbol of the independence and autonomy of the Nation.
The main language of Guatemala is Spanish, although in very rural destinations it may be a distant second language to the local language. There are 23 other languages spoken in Guatemala – 21 of them are Mayan languages (most notably K’iche, Mam and Kaqchikel), the other two being Xinca and Garifuna.
Roman Catholicism was the official religion in Guatemala. The constitution of Guatemala establishes the freedom of religion. Protestant Christianity in Guatemala is the second largest religion in the country. Among the minority, religions include Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Traditional Maya Religion, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.
Unitary presidential republic.
In Guatemala, the climate is tropical, hot all year round in the lowlands, while in mountainous areas, it becomes cooler with increasing altitude.
Geographically, the country is divided into three zones: North, there's an area almost entirely occupied by plains (departments of Petén, north of Alta Verapaz, and Izabal), with a short stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea); in the center, there's a large mountainous area, where the capital is also located; and finally, in the south, we find a thin flat strip south of the mountains, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
From December to March, Guatemala can be reached by cool air masses from the United States, and in these cases, the temperature at night can drop below 10 °C (50 °F) in Guatemala City and around 13/15 °C (55/59 °F) in the plains.