(Republic of Guatemala, República de Guatemala)
• Location: Central America
• Capital: Guatemala City
• Language(s): Spanish
• Population: 14,243,456
• Total Area: 108,895 sq km
• Currency: Quetzal
• Curious Alcohol Fact: Alcohol is quite easy to get.
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 4.03 liters
• Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, fruit juices
Known as República de Guatemala in Spanish, this Central American nation shares borders with Belize, which lies to the northeast. To the north and west of the country is Mexico while El Salvador is to the southeast. To the east lies Honduras, another Central American nation. The southern coastline of the country is bathed by the calm waters of the Pacific Ocean while that of the northeast meets with the incredibly beautiful Caribbean Sea. Guatemala City is the capital city and the main hub of commerce.
As far as ethnicity is concerned, Guatemalans are usually classified into two categories: the Ladinos and the Amerindians. The former group has Spanish and Indian roots while the latter are mainly those belonging to the native tribes. In addition to these two groups, it is also important to mention the Black Caribs, descendants of slaves from Africa. Spanish is the official language although there are various dialects of indigenous Indian languages (as much as 20). When it comes to religion in Guatemala, Christianity is by the most popular with many of the citizens being Roman Catholics, Pentecostals, Evangelicals or followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church. A tiny portion of the population adheres to the indigenous Indian beliefs. Other faiths in the country include Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. Quite a number of the citizens are into agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, service, tourism and fishery.
Eating and Drinking in Guatemala
In a country that is as diverse as Guatemala, there is actually more than enough to eat. In many areas, meals are prepared from corn, spices and beans. Tamales seem to be some of the most popular meals in the country. There is also the pollo frito, which is actually fried chicken. Various drinks are available at bars and restaurants.
Sports and Recreation in Guatemala
Football is the most popular sport in Guatemala. All over the country and at various times of the year, there are various fairs, carnivals and other festive events that residents and tourists alike visit to cool off and enjoy. Attending just one of the carnivals is enough to convince even the most skeptical of tourists. Also being a country with a large population of Mayans, there is a very rich culture and tradition of dances, storytelling and the production of local arts and craft.
Interesting Facts About Guatemala
• The capital city is Guatemala City and is also known by another name: Guatemala de la Asunción.
• The exact meaning of the name ‘Guatemala ’ is still debated among scholars.
• Guatemala was once a constituent of the Mexican Empire.
• Guatemala is home to the legendary Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Guatemala is also home to one of the largest forests in Central America.
• Rigoberta Mechu, the renowned Nobel Peace Laureate and advocate is from Guatemala.
• Another Guatemalan, Miguel Ángel Asturias won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1967.
• Quetzal is the name for the country’s currency and the national bird.
• Guatemala is one of the most important producers of cardamom in the world.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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