Background: The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, some 1 million refugees.
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Area land: 107,159 sq km
Area water: 1,730 sq km
Coastline: 400 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
Country name conventional short form: Guatemala
Country name former: Republic of Guatemala
Population: 13,824,463 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 38.1% (male 2,678,340/female 2,582,472); 15-64 years: 58% (male 3,889,573/female 4,130,698); 65 years and over: 3.9% (male 252,108/female 291,272) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.986% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 26.96 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 4.98 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 26.02 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 28.26 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 23.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.88 years; male: 69.03 years; female: 72.83 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.27 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.8% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 62,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,600 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Guatemalan(s); adjective: Guatemalan;
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 59.4%, K'iche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Q'eqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census);
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs;
Languages: Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 69.1%; male: 75.4%; female: 63.3% (2002 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $70.31 billion (2010 est.); $68.8 billion (2009 est.); $68.39 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $40.77 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2.2% (2010 est.); 0.6% (2009 est.); 3.3% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,200 (2010 est.); $5,200 (2009 est.); $5,300 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 13.3%; industry: 24.4%; services: 62.3% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 56.2% (2004 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.3%; highest 10%: 42.4% (2006);
Labor force: 4.26 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 50%; industry: 15%; services: 35% (1999 est.);
Unemployment rate: 3.2% (2005 est.);
Budget: revenues: $4.897 billion; expenditures: $6.124 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism;
Industrial production growth rate: 2.6% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 8.425 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 7.115 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 131.9 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 8.11 million kWh (2007 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(Independent), Guatemala City
(independent), Guatemala City
Displaying 1 to 4 of 9 items.
Guatemala's shift in leadership from Colom to Pérez Molina speaks to security issues but raises concerns about indigenous and human rights.
Guatemala, a small country of only 11.2 million, has passed Korea and is now the third-largest source of foreign adoption for the United States, trailing only the empires of Russia and China.
Landslides the week before last caused by the rain from Hurricane Stan in the Caribbean wiped out a town next to Santiago called Panabáj, burying more than 500 people under mud and rock that fell from thousands of feet above them.
In an article for Mexico City’s Proceso, Velia Jaramillo reports on former coup-leader Ríos Montt’s loss in the Nov. 9 elections and the efforts to bring him to trial for genocide.