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Guatemala - Enviornment


Guatemala Environment

Guatemala is Central America's westernmost country, bordering Mexico to the north and west, Belize to the northeast and Honduras and El Salvador to the east. Guatemala's volatile topography is a mountainous and forested jumble of volcanoes and jungle. The western highlands are home to over 30 volcanoes, which reach heights of up to 3800m (12,464ft) and cast a red glow at night. The area experiences frequent earthquake activity. The intensively cultivated Pacific coastline is a vast expanse of mostly black-sand beaches, and the tiny Caribbean coastline also lacks beaches but is culturally rich. The vast jungle lowland of El Petén fills the interior, characterized by a mix of banana plantations and soils rich in dinosaur bones.

Guatemala's national bird is the quetzal - a gorgeous creature which is almost extinct, due to deforestation and poachers. Puma, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi and margay - and their assorted diet of deer, peccary and tapir - survive, though are seldom seen.

The Pacific coast is tropically sweltering, with temperatures often hovering around 38°C (100°F). The seemingly constant high humidity diminishes a little in the dry season. The highlands are freezing at night, damp and chilly during the rainy season and warm and pleasant during their dry season (October to May), which is somewhat different from the rest of the country's December-to-April parched period. El Petén's climate varies only from hot and humid to hot and dry.



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