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Coordinates: 15°30′N 90°15′W / 15.500°N 90.250°W / 15.500; -90.250


República de Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala
Coat of arms of Guatemala
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: 
  • "Libre Crezca Fecundo"
  • "El País de la Eterna Primavera"
Location of Guatemala
Capital
and largest city
Guatemala City
14°38′N 90°30′W / 14.633°N 90.500°W / 14.633; -90.500
Official languages Spanish
Ethnic groups (2010)
Demonym Guatemalan
Chapín (informal)
Government Unitary presidential republic
Jimmy Morales
Jafeth Cabrera
• President of the Congress
Mario Taracena
• President of the Supreme Court
Patricia Valdés
Legislature Congress of the Republic
Independence
from the Spanish Empire
• Declared
15 September 1821
• Declared from the
First Mexican Empire
1 July 1823
• Current constitution
31 May 1985
Area
• Total
108,889 km (42,042 sq mi) (107th)
• Water (%)
0.4
Population
• 2014 estimate
15,806,675 (66th)
• Density
129/km (334.1/sq mi) (85th)
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
• Total
$124.941 billion
• Per capita
$7,680
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
• Total
$66.037 billion
• Per capita
$4,059
Gini (2007) 55.1
high
HDI (2014) Increase 0.627
medium · 128th
Currency Quetzal (GTQ)
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
Drives on the right
Calling code +502
ISO 3166 code GT
Internet TLD .gt

Guatemala (/ˌɡwɑːtˈmɑːləˌ ɡwæ-ˌ ɡɑː-/ GWAH-tə-MAH-lə, GWAT-ə-MAH-lə or GAH-tə-MAH-lə; [gwateˈmala]), officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. With an estimated population of around 15.8 million, it is the most populous state in Central America. A representative democracy, Guatemala's capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved in 1841.

From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced chronic instability and civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms. A U.S.-backed military coup in 1954 ended the revolution and installed a dictatorship.

From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, drug trade, and instability.

Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The country is also known for its rich and distinct culture, which is characterized by a fusion of Spanish and Indigenous influences.