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Destination Guatemala, a virtual travel guide to "alma de la tierra". This page aims to give you a broad overview of Guatemala's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, the page contains links to sources which provide you with all the information you need to know about this Central American nation, e.g.: official web sites of Guatemala, addresses of Guatemalan and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from Guatemala.

Palacio Nacional Guatemala
Palacio Nacional ©

Republic of Guatemala | República de Guatemala

Country Profile

Guatemala Flag
Flag of Guatemala

The Maya 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 led to the death of more than 100 000 people and had created some 1 million refugees.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

border countries: Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico

related countries: Spain

Where in Central America is Guatemala?

Official Name:
República de Guatemala
short form: Guatemala
int'l long form: Republic of Guatemala

ISO Country Code: gt

Local Time = UTC -6h
Actual Time: Fri-Feb-27  15:09

Country Calling Code: +502

Capital City: Guatemala (City) (metro area pop. 2.5 million).

Other Cities: Quetzaltenango, Escuintla.

Type: Constitutional democratic republic.
Constitution: May 1985; amended November 1993.
Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain).

Location: Central America, bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) and the North Pacific Ocean.
Area: 109,000 kmĀ² (42,085 sq. mi.)
Terrain: fertile coastal plains, mountainous.

Climate: Tropical on coasts, temperate in highlands.

Nationality: Guatemalan(s).
Population: 14.7 million (2011)
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Spanish-Indian), indigenous.
Religions: Christian, traditional Mayan.
Languages: Spanish, 24 indigenous languages (principally K'iche', Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi', and Mam).
Literacy: 70%

Natural resources: Petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower.

Agriculture products: Sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens.

Industries: Sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism.

Currency: Quetzal (GTQ), US Dollar (USD)

Guatemala in numbers
Guatemala key statistical data.

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Guatemala

Congreso de la Republica de Guatemala
The Congress of the Republic of Guatemala (in Spanish).

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Spanish).

Diplomatic Missions
Mision Permanente de Guatemala ante las Naciones Unidas
Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations.
Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S.
Washington, D.C.
Guatemalan Diplomatic Missions Abroad
Address list of Guatemalan Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Missions accredited in Guatemala
Address list of Foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited in Guatemala.

Map of Guatemala
Political map of Guatemala.
Administrative Map of Guatemala
Map of Guatemala showing the administrative regions.

Google Earth Google Earth Guatemala
Searchable map and satellite view of Guatemala.
Google Earth Google Earth Guatemala (City)
Searchable map and satellite view of Guatemala's capital.

Map of Central America and the Caribbean
Reference Map of Central America and the Caribbean. 



Guate daily (in Spanish).
La Hora
Guatemala News (in Spanish).
Prensa Libre
Guatemala News (in Spanish).
Guatemala's English-language Magazine.
Siglo Veintiuno, a Guatemala daily newspaper (in Spanish)

Voces de Guatemala
Annually bilingual online magazine, discussing issues relevant to society, culture, politics, service projects, and various unusual thoughts in and around Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.


Arts & Culture

Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes
Official website of the ministry of culture and sport.

Arte Maya Tz'utuhil
Guatemalan Mayan Indian artists. (US server)
Biblioteca Nacional de Guatemala
The national library (in Spanish).

Cultural Guatemala
About the culture of Guatemala by the Guatemalan Embassy.

Maya Culture

Mundo Maya
Site of the Mundo Maya Organization (MMO) with information on Mayan culture and the Organization's aim to achieve social development and sustainable tourism within the Mayan regions.
Guatemalan Maya Organization - OMG
Official Site with comprehensive information on the descendents of the Maya civilization.
The Maya Astronomy Page
Site covers many aspects of the ancient Maya, such as how their calendar and math worked.
The Maya Calendar
Information about the Maya astronomical calendar by Maya World Studies Center.
The Maya Ruins Page
Barbara McKenzie's images of Maya archaeological sites in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Maya Culture - Tikal Temple
Tikal Temple ©


Business & Economy

Banco de Guatemala
Bank of Guatemala

Guatemala Products
La Casa del Jade
Processing and trade of Guatemala Jade (in Spanish)

Destination Guatemala - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Guatemala: Guatemala City, La Antigua, Las Verapaces
Atitlan & Chichicastenango, Amatique Bay, Quetzaltenango, Los Altos, Esquipulas, Escuintla, El Peten, Izabal, Tikal, Maya Sites, Ecotourism, Volcanoes.
Accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, birdwatching, biking, hiking, climbing, cruising, diving, tours and much more.

Official travel and tourism site of Guate, by Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT).

Turicentro Corazón del Bosque
Visitor information for the ecological tourist center Corazón del Bosque (Heart of the forest)
Puerta al Mundo Maya
Ecotourism handled by Q'eqchi' communities.

Conoce Guatemala
Guatemala visitor information by terra TV (in Spanish)
Nuestra Guatemala
Guatemala tourist magazine.

Fotos de Guatemala
Guatemala Pictures.
Guatemala On The Web
Site about Guatemala, with a Travel Forum.

City Guide
Guatemala City
Alcaldía Municipal de Guatemala - Official site of Guatemala City.

Tour Operators
Guatemalan tourism and travel agency.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information


Universidad del Istmo
UNIS in Guatemala City.
Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
Founded in 1966.
Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
The University of San Carlos of Guatemala, founded 1676.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Founded in 1971.
Universidad Mariano Gálvez de Guatemala
Founded 1966.
Universidad Rafael Landívar
Founded in 1961.
Universidad Rural de Guatemala
Ciudad de Guatemala.


Instituto Nacional de Bosques
The Guatemalan National institute of Forests.
Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza
Private Organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the natural resources of Guatemala.
Parque Natural Ixpanpajul
The Ixpanpajul Natural Park covers an area of nine square kilometers or 450 hectares. It has over 200 hundred species of trees, over 150 species of birds and about 40 species of mammals.


Guatemala: Memory of Silence
A report by the Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) in order to clarify with objectivity, equity and impartiality, the human rights violations and acts of violence connected with the armed confrontation that caused suffering among the Guatemalan people.


Guatemala Web
Welcome to the Heart of the Maya World.

Additional Information on Guatemala

BBC News Country Profile: Guatemala
Guatemala - LANIC
Latin American Network Information Center on Guatemala.
Governments on the WWW:
Open Directory Project: Guatemala
Wikipedia: Guatemala
The World Factbook -- Guatemala
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Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley

* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.