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Table of Contents
Guatemala, officially known as the Republic of Guatemala, is a Central American country with a representative democracy government. It is Central America’s most populous country with around 17.2 million people.
See the fact file below for more information on the Guatemala or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Guatemala worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The ancient civilization of the Maya was centered in Guatemala, as proven by numerous sites and artifacts excavated in the area, dating as far back as to the 3rd to the 10th century AD.
- From 250 AD to 900 AD, Mayan civilization reached its height. By the 14th century, the once mighty civilization was already declining when the Europeans arrived.
- Pedro de Alvarado led the conquest of the Maya and defeated them in 1524, turning the area into a Spanish colony.
- Guatemala has had different capital cities. Antigua was the first and Ciudad Vieja was the second, and both were destroyed by an earthquake.
- In 1776, Guatemala City was founded and became the third capital of the country.
- Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821. Agustin de Iturbide took advantage of this and convinced Guatemala to be a part of his empire.
- Iturbide was overthrown by revolution, freeing Guatemala and giving rise to the Mexican republic.
- The United Provinces of Central America, a federation, was then formed by Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Unfortunately, the association disbanded shortly after its formation.
- Guatemala has a total area of 108,890 km2.
- The country has beaches on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
- Guatemala also has numerous mountains and volcanoes. 3 out of 30 volcanoes are still active.
- The most active volcano is located near Guatemala City.
- The deepest lake in Central America is in Guatemala, formed over 84,000 years ago when a volcano erupted and collapsed into a caldera.
- The lake covers 48 square miles and is believed to be 900 feet deep.
- Due to the country’s mountainous terrain, one-third of the population lives in villages in the cool highlands, while the coastal lowlands are humid and warm.
- Its bordering countries are Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Belize.
- Guatemala did not have its own flag until 1825.
- When the United Provinces of Central America separated, Guatemala received a new flag on November 14, 1843.
- It featured volcanoes, like those in the coat of arms of one of its former capitals, a quiver with arrows, and a rising sun.
- This flag had horizontal blue-white-blue stripes, like those of Argentina’s national flag. These were introduced by Captain Luis Aury.
In 1871, the flag that is used today by Guatemala was introduced.
- After 50 years of the independence of Central America, the new flag of Guatemala set the blue-white-blue stripes vertically, in contrast to the flags of the other countries in the area.
- The coat of arms was also changed. It now shows the national bird of Guatemala resting on a scroll. The scroll contains the date of the independence of Central America.
- The new flag design also features crossed rifles and a wreath.
- Numerous variations were used in the proceeding decades, and in September 1968, the present pattern was finally established. On December 26, 1997, another minor change was made to the flag.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
- The Maya civilization that once inhabited the country is known to be very advanced in astronomy and math.
- They are believed to have developed the concept of zero.
- The collapse of the Mayan Empire is still a mystery, but many suggest that it may have suffered the effects of drought and overpopulation.
- Over half of the country’s population is indigenous and many of the Maya women still weave clothes that are brightly colored.
- Many believe that the name Guatemala came from the word Guhatezmalh, describing the volcano near its second capital, calling it the “mountain that vomits water”.
- Society is marked by pronounced extremes in the lifestyle led by residents. Rich and elite families in Guatemala City have lifestyles like those of people in cosmopolitan centers in developed countries, with access to advanced technology.
- The indigenous people, found within an hour’s drive from the capital, still practice patterns of daily life of past centuries, and market life continues to tie their communities together.
- These contrasts are also shown in attire, cuisine, household, family affairs, and even in the language spoken.
GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMY
- When Juan José Arévalo was elected as president, the border disputes of Guatemala and Belize were finally settled.
- After Arevalo’s term, Guatemala shifted to a communist government, propagated by Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
- In 1986, the new constitution established three government branches.
- The Congress passes new laws. The vice president, along with the Council of Ministers, assists the president, who is allowed to serve only one term.
- The republic has repeatedly struggled with anti-Communist demonstrations and unjust declaration even decades after changing its type of government.
- After many revolts and turnovers of power, the Congress appointed Ramiro de Leon Carpio to lead the republic in 1993.
- In 1996, then president Alvaro Azru ended the civil war by signing a peace agreement with the rebels.
- The export of coffee was the main contributor to the boom of Guatemala’s economy in the 1870s.
- However, Mayan communities were displaced by wealthy landowners to develop more coffee plantations.
- The country’s economy has steadily become more stable, mainly thanks to prudent fiscal management, inflation targeting, and managing the floating exchange rate.
- With a GDP growth rate of 3.1% in 2016, 2.8% in 2017, and 3.1% in 2018, Guatemala became a solid economic performer.
- Guatemala has a young multi-ethnic population, substantial natural resources, and a strategic location, giving it huge growth potential.
- Guatemala exports fruits, flowers, vegetables, clothes, and handicrafts among many other products.
- The country has also been increasing its export of raw materials for the production of biofuels.
- Guatemalans in the United States also contribute to the country’s economy with their remittances, constituting the largest single source income of foreign currency.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Guatemala across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Guatemala worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Guatemala, officially known as the Republic of Guatemala, which is a Central American country with a representative democracy government. It is Central America’s most populous country with around 17.2 million people.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Guatemalan Jumble
- Into History
- Guatemala’s People
- Fruits of Guatemala
- Tourist Place
- Two Speak
- A Taste of Guatemala
- Poor Education
- Guatemalan Rule
- Stan Damage
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Link will appear as Guatemala Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 13, 2020
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