República de Guatemala
Republic of Guatemala
Flagge Guatemalas
Wappen Guatemalas
(detail) (detail)

Wahlspruch: El pais de la eterna primavera
splinter, „the country of eternal spring “

office language Spanish
capital Guatemala city
system of government Präsidialrepublik
president Óscar Berger Perdomo
surface 108,890 km ²
number of inhabitants 14.655.189 (conditions July 2005)
population density of 134 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 1,898 US-$ (2004)
independence from Spain to 15. September 1821
currency Quetzal (GTQ)
time belt UTC -6h
national anthem Guatemala Feliz
Kfz Nationalitätszeichen GCA
Internet TLD .gt
preselection +502
Karte Nordamerikas, Guatemala hervorgehoben
Karte Guatemalas

Guatemala (official Republic of Guatemala, splinter República de Guatemala) is a state in Central America, in the south of the peninsula Yucatán. The name Guatemala is derived from the toltekischen word “Goathemala”, which means as much as “earth of the trees”. Guatemala borders in the southeast on Honduras, in the south on El Salvador, in the north on Mexico and in the east on Belize. Guatemala has two coasts, in the east a narrow entrance to the Caribbean sea and in the southwest the Pacific coast.

Table of contents



Guatemala lies in central America on 15° 30 ' north, 90° 15 ' west. The northeast part, El Petén, is small populated low country with nearly continuous tropical rain forest, in the center of Guatemala is located the high country with volcanos up to 4.200 m height, the narrow flat and fruitful coastal strip at the Pacific has again continuous damp-tropical climate.

The high country is coined/shaped of very different climate zones, then one finds here among other things also still small remainders of so-called wet forest, to the last retreat area of the extremely endangered national bird of Guatemala, the Quetzal. He is the name giver for the Guatemalan currency.

The high country is the cultural and most densely populated center of Guatemala. Here, because of the situation between 1.300 and 1,800 meters over the sea, nearly the whole year prevails over a mild climate with daytime temperatures between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius. In higher situations it can become quite cold particularly in January and February. In a deep-convenient part the today's capital Guatemala city is appropriate for this high land region, with 2,5 millions Inhabitants the largest city of the country. Touristi high points of the country are the Atitlán lake, the old capital Antigua Guatemala, the antique Mayastadt Tikal in the Petén, the Lago Izabal with the Rio Dulce and Livingston to the Karibikküste, as well as some other cities worth seeing such as Quetzaltenango and Chichicastenango in the high country.


the most important cities are (conditions 1. January 2005): Guatemala city of 964,823 inhabitants, Mixco of 297,039 inhabitants, mansion Nueva of 218,294 inhabitants, Quetzaltenango of 112,121 inhabitants, Escuintla of 69,311 inhabitants, Amatitlán of 61,562 inhabitants, Chinautla of 61,520 inhabitants, Cobán of 59,428 inhabitants, Huehuetenango of 28,500 inhabitants, as well as Antiqua with 20.600 inhabitants.


59.4% of the population of Guatemala are descendants of the Maya and from Europeans (Spanish), further 40% are Mayas, the remainder of the population is European or asiatic descent or ranks among at the Karibikküste living descendant of escaped African slaves.

The office language and native language of the Mestizen and the europäischstämmigen population are Spanish. The Indígenas speaks usually one of the 24 Maya languages. Spanish is understood nevertheless about more than 95% of the indigenen population. Altogether Spanish is spoken of 60% of the population.

Due to the very high illiterate rate of 30% Guatemala is considered as developing country. For this reason various aid programmes are organized such as Probigua, which are dependent on private donations by the majority.

to history

see also the major item history of Guatemala.

Certification of indianischen history placing innumerable, mostly yet not seized Maya - ruins, among them Tikal as the most important or Cival. Immense number of remainders of old Maya cultures lies further in secret, only the most substantial ruin cities, particularly with financial assistance from the foreign country was opened and investigated. See also list of the pyramids.

After conquest (Conquista) remained the country up to 15. September 1821 Spanish colony. From 1823-1839 Guatemala was part of the centralAmerican Konföderation. Only 1840 developed the independent State of Guatemala.

The first time of the recent republic of 1841-71 is characterized by conservative regime in the power, whose principal purposes represented a careful economic modernization with retention of the hierarchical social order of the colonial age.

The time of 1871-1944 is called liberal national state. The economic modernization of the country was forced. It began the wide coffee and cultivation of banana, latter in particular by the United Fruit company.

With the October Revolution 1944 and the fall of the dictator at that time Jorge Ubico 1931-1944, a democratic decade in Guatemala begins. President Arévalo, 1944 to 1949, democratizes the country, introduces the Pressefreiheit and implements the first Arbeiterkodex in the history of Guatemala. Under its successor Jacobo Arbenz 1950-1954 are accomplished extensive Landreformen. At this time approximately 2% all great land owner possess approx. 70% of the agriculturally usable country.

Long years assumed that the US-American State Department on intervention of the United Fruit company, which had its largest Plantagen in Guatemala and besides still Eignerin was international that Railway OF cent ral America and the then only sea port of the country, Puerto Barrio, a rushing campaign against Guatemala initiated. The CIA intervened thereupon in co-operation with oppositionals of Guatemalan military (operation PBSUCCESS). Those recently free-against-evenly documents of the CIA over the action let the influence of the United Fruit company appear rather small however. After these information the intervention should be regarded rather as part of the Truman doctrine, in order to prevent an assumed communist threat from central America.

1954 are fallen Arbenz and Castillo Armas become dictator. Within shortest time this cancels all social reforms including the agrarian reform begun. It is murdered 1957. Ydígoras, likewise from the numbers of the Guatemalan military, under the rule Ubicos responsible for numerous massacres and brutal striking down of different rebellions in Guatemala, becomes its successor.

In Guatemala prevailed 36 years long a civil war, which only 1996 was explained by the signing of a peace treaty formally for terminated.

The war had cost up to this time more than 200,000 humans the life and had created over to 1 million refugees. Particularly by general Efraín Ríos Montt got the fight of the indigenen population by the dictatorship of courses of a Genozids. Whole regions were surface covering bombarded. However in September 1982 9,000 Mayanachkommen were murdered.

Without the relevant promotion by logistic and material assistance (weapons camouflaged as a “humanitarian assistance”) of the USA the Genozid would have been surely hardly possible in this form. Only Jimmy Carter interrupted this “humanitarian assistance” for short time.

Guatemala was met in October 2005 by Ausläufern of the hurricane Stan heavily, over 1.000 humans died by inundations, landslides and mudslides.


of protests of the landless, indigenen population before the president palace in Guatemala town center, 1996

Guatemala are an independent democratic republic with multiple party system. The condition of 15. January 1986 specifies the separation between legislation (Congreso de la República, the parliament), executive (president and vice-president) and Judikative (highest Court of Justice). The parliament and the president every four years selected, enfranchised are excluded all citizens starting from eighteen years, active member of the military. The highest Court of Justice is determined by the parliament for four years.

With the elections of 9. November 2003 was selected Óscar Berger Perdomo as a candidate of the Gran Alianza Nacional to the president. Also with the parliamentary election the Gran Alianza Nacional became strongest Kraft, the election turnout lay with 54,5%.

Like most Latin American states also Guatemala does not have a long democratic tradition. The party landscape is a little stable, many parties dissolves after a legislative period or disappears in the Bedeutungslosigkeit. For it the strong influence of social groups is characteristic outside of the parties, in particular the military and the entrepreneurs.

With regard to foreign policy Guatemala was isolated for many years during the civil war. Since the beginning of the democratization and the conclusion of the peace treaty with the rebels Guatemala on the international stage tries to play an appropriate role. Since 2001 a trade agreement exists, since that 10 between Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. March 2004 additionally a customs union with El Salvador.

See also: List of the presidents of Guatemala

administrative arrangement

Guatemala is divided in 22 Departamentos.

Departamento (capital)

Departamentos of Guatemala
  1. El Petén (Flores)
  2. Huehuetenango (Huehuetenango)
  3. El Quiché (Santa Cruz del Quiché)
  4. Alta Verapaz (Cobán)
  5. Izabal (Puerto Barrios)
  6. San Marcos (San Marcos)
  7. Quetzaltenango (Quetzaltenango)
  8. Totonicapán (Totonicapán)
  9. Baja Verapaz (Salamá)
  10. El Progreso (Guastatoya)
  11. Zacapa (Zacapa)
  12. Sololá (Sololá)
  13. Chimaltenango (Chimaltenango)
  14. Sacatepéquez (Antigua Guatemala)
  15. Guatemala (Guatemala city)
  16. Jalapa (Jalapa)
  17. Chiquimula (Chiquimula)
  18. Retalhuleu (Retalhuleu)
  19. Suchitepéquez (Mazatenango)
  20. Escuintla (Escuintla)
  21. Santa pink one (Cuilapa)
  22. Jutiapa (Jutiapa)


"Eigentum des nationalen Krankenhauses von Antigua G." (Antigua,Guatemala)
“property of the national hospital of Antigua G. ” (Antigua, Guatemala)


the main export property of the country is coffee, besides sugars, bananas, tobacco, india rubber and Kardamom are exported.


a very important restaurant factor is since the end of the 1990er years also the tourism. Of great importance one are also the transfers of emigrated Guatemalteken to their families. They had an estimated value of 1,6 billion in the year 2003 Euro.


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


further writers

  • Otto René Castillo
  • Augusto Monterroso

literature over Guatemala

  • Rigoberta Menchú: I, Rigoberta Menchú - at Indian Woman in Guatemala. 1987
  • Miguel Ángel Asturias banana Trilogie - „storm “, „the green Pope “, „eyes of the burying “ (Literaturnobelpreis 1967)
  • Wolfgang Schreyer: Black December, 1977
  • Jim Jandy: Poison OF the Devil. 1984
  • Kinzer, Schlesinger: The banana war of the CIA, 1995
  • Markus stump among other things: Guatemala - a country on the search for peace, 2003, ISBN 3-86099-755-6

Web on the left of

coordinates: 15° 30 ' N, 90° 15 ' W


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)