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Guatemala - Introduction


Introduction to Guatemala

<i>Palapas</i>, <i>jaranas</i> and music, Flores

Despite its turmoil, travellers flock to Guatemala because it offers Central America in concentrated form: its volcanoes are the highest and most active, its Mayan ruins the most impressive, its earthquakes the most devastating and its history of repression decidedly world-class.

Full country name: Republic of Guatemala
Area: 109,000 sq km
Population: 11.7 million
People: 56% mestizo/ladino descent, 44% Mayan descent
Language: Spanish; Castilian
Religion: Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Mayan-Catholic fusion
Government: constitutional democratic republic
GDP: US$47.9 billion
GDP per capita: US$3,900
Inflation: 6.8%
Major Industries: Coffee, sugar, bananas, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, natural rubber, flowers, cardamom, tourism.
Major Trading Partners: USA, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan

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