Interesting Facts About Guatemala – Guatemala lies between North and South America. In the north and north-west it is bordered by Mexico to the east – with Honduras and El Salvador, in the northeast – with Belize. On the west by the Pacific Ocean.
The country ranks third in the Central America area (108,889 sq. km.), After Nicaragua and Honduras.
Guatemala – one of the most tourist places on the continent. Natural beauty and numerous ancient monuments attract travelers to Guatemala from all over the world.
20 Interesting Facts About Guatemala
1. Guatemala – one of the most picturesque countries in Central America. One of the centers of a mighty civilization of the Maya (II – IX centuries BC) and the birthplace of more ancient peoples of pre-Columbian America. Guatemala also famous for its abundance of historical and cultural monuments.
2. Three historic monuments of Guatemala included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. They seem to reflect different stages of the country’s history: Archaeological Park “Quiriguá Ruins” and “Tikal National Park” created on the site of one of the main centers of the Maya civilization, and the city of Antigua Guatemala presents many examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
3. Guatemala is an endless variety of exotic items, handmade Indian population, which, as in a mirror reflection of the entire centuries-old culture of indigenous peoples.
4. Capital of the country – “Guatemala City” or simply “Guatemala”, was founded in 1776 under the name of Nueva Guatemala de la Asuncion and it is the third line “variant” of the capital.
5. On the western vicinity of Guatemala City, in the “Zone 7”, lie the extensive ruins Kaminalhuyu (“Hill of the Dead”) – one of the most important settlements of the “classical period” of the Mayan civilization (the appearance of the city belongs to the II millennium BC. OE. At this place, discovered more than 300 remains of buildings and about 13 fields “playing with balls”.
6. The old capital of the country – Antigua (Antigua Guatemala), lies in a broad mountain valley Pancho, sandwiched between the cones of volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Akatenango, 45 km west of Guatemala City.
Founded in 1524 somewhat to the west of its current location, the city for any age has become one of the largest cities of the Spanish Empire.
In 1541, landslides and powerful languages lava caused by volcanic eruption Agua, forced to move the town to its present location, and the “old Antigua” was named Ciudad Vieja.
7. Located 548 km north of the capital, the ancient city of Tikal was one of the largest cities of the Maya civilization (according to scientists here lived up to 100,000 inhabitants). Unlike many other ancient cities of the era, Tikal is located in the depths of a dense rainforest. The city has more than 3,000 different sites, including temples and palaces, and lies within the Tikal National Park.
8. The most interesting and difficult of the ancient city, affectionately called El Mirador, lies near the border with Mexico. 24 km north of the ancient ruins of Tikal are Uaxactun, almost completely hidden under the forest canopy.
Also worth seeing is extensive and well-preserved ancient Mayan city Zakuleu near Huehuetenango (200 km from the capital ), one of the largest and ancient Mayan cities – Sival complex near Lake Izabal Kuirigua the east, El Zotts 30 km west of Uashaktuna and also slightly smaller in size than Tikal, the ancient city of Rio Azul in place of convergence borders with Mexico and Belize.
9. Lying at an altitude of 2030 meters above the sea level foggy town of Chichicastenango is surrounded by picturesque valleys and jagged ridges framed by mountain ranges. Chichicastenango is known since pre-Hispanic times as the largest shopping center of the Mayan empire.
10. In Guatemala there are 33 volcanoes, many of which are active.
11. Guatemalan national cuisine – the basis of food constitutes maize, fried meat (especially poultry), beans and rice, use in all possible combinations, and with lots of greens and spices.
Inner area uses yucca, millet, wild animals and a large number of rather unusual ingredients. Most recipes are preserved from the time of the Mayans.
12. Highlands takes more than half of the Guatemala and continues to the northwest, beyond Mexico and the southeast, to the territory of El Salvador and Honduras. Surface height above sea level, mostly from 1000 to 2400 m, with individual volcanic peaks over 3,700 meters in height.
13. In the southwest Highlands, separating it from the coastal lowlands, rises the Sierra Madre mountain range, on the basis of which the ancient imposed numerous young volcanic cones, including the highest mountain in Central America – Tajumulco volcano (4217 m).
14. The vast majority of Guatemalans professes the Catholic religion, at least nominally, but in the years after World War II increased markedly influence of Protestant missionaries.
15. The real breakthrough in the history of Guatemala, at least in terms of its political traditions , was the result of the presidential election in 2007. Usually in the fight for the first post of the state converged in no way different from each other “right” and “centrists” , this same time won the “left” – Alvaro Colom Caballeros.
Supported his unit Una (“National Union of Hope“) declares himself a follower of the Social Christian and Social Democratic strategy expressed commitment to the ideals of the French and the Mexican Revolution , but the main thing – the Guatemalan Revolution 1944.
16. Although Guatemala is rich in fishery resources, fisheries developed slightly. Most of the forest resources, including stocks of mahogany and other valuable tree species are concentrated in the rain forests of the department of Petén. Although tropical forests around the world, there are very few and they are valuable from an ecological point of view, the Government of Guatemala expanding exploitation of forests Petain.
17. Guatemala is the third largest producer of antimony after Bolivia and Mexico. In small quantities produced gold, lead, iron and steel, as well as construction materials, mainly for domestic consumption.
18. Large oil deposits were first discovered in the early 1970s in the north of the department of Alta Verapaz, in the course of further exploration were also open field near the Mexican border in the department of Peten. Several American and European oil companies won concessions to develop them. In 1980, Guatemala began to export oil, and half of the exports accounted for the United States.
19. In the era before the Spanish conquest , the Maya had a rich written literature, which was destroyed by the Spaniards almost completely, except for a few manuscripts.
Judging from the surviving hieroglyphic inscriptions, part is not yet fully decrypted, the Maya had a complex mythology.
Like the Christian Bible, the sacred book of the Maya Popol Vuh, written in the language of Quiche Latin (c. 1554-58 ), tells about the origin of the world, the origin of good and evil, sets out the basic principles of morality.
Many myths and legends from the Popol Vuh organically included in modern fiction Guatemala.
20. In 9-10 cc. most of the city-states of the Maya were destroyed. Scientists have put forward various hypotheses, including the invasion of tribes Toltec, peasant uprisings, strife within the ruling class or catastrophic erosion, which could feed a growing population. However, although the Maya civilization in the plains of Guatemala disappeared, she continued to exist on the Yucatan Peninsula and in the mountains of southern Guatemala.
21. There are also deposits of October Birthstone Opal in Guatemala.