Guatemala Highlights







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General Information

Guatemala a country in Central America, which endured a bloody civil war between 1960 and 1996. Since the end of the civil war Guatemala has achieved economic growth although it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, drug trade, and instability. Guatemala faces many social problems and is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Guatemala has been prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes which causes mudslides and flooding. The most recent was Hurricane Eta in November 2020. ( Category 5 storm) Earthquakes are common, and the 1976 earthquake killed over 25000 people. Guatemala has 37 volcanoes of which 4 of them are active (Tacana, Santiaguito,Pacava and Fuego) The income distribution is highly unequal with more than half of the population below the national poverty line. It is estimated that around 54 % of the population live in poverty. We were amazed to hear that money sent home from Guatemalans living in United States is the largest single form of foreign income in Guatemala. Main exports are fruits, vegetables, flowers, Coffee, sugar, and Banana’s. 50% of the labour force is involved in the agricultural sector. Mines produce gold, silver, zinc, cobalt, and nickel. Tourism has become an increasing source of revenue lately.

Guatemala is located between Mexico, Belize and Honduras and is a favourite country for the North American overlanders. Roads are slow so expect long travel days due to poor and winding roads and constant changes between low and highlands. Guatemala receives around two million tourists annually. Tourist destinations such as Tikal, Lake Atitlan, the active volcanoes, the historic town of Antigua and Semuc Champey are on the must do list. The thick rainforest of Guatemala has many hidden Maya sites (Tikal the most well-known) As well as large populations of monkeys and exotic birds. The country has many religious festivals These vibrant and diverse cultural festivities of Guatemala makes for some incredible and colourful holidays and festivals