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General Information

Geography

Guatemala is spreaded on a surface of nearly 109 000 square kilometres, covered mainly with rain virgin forests and jungles. West coast is formed with approx. 30 volcanos, which reach the height of 3800 metres, in Cuchumatanes, in north-west part from Hue-Huetenga. On the other hand, on places, where the trees were rooted up (for fields of maize-corn), the mountains are covered with pine forests. On slopes towards Pacific Ocean, coffee and cocoa plantations are spreaded, including orchards and sugar-cane fields. Along coast, where volcanic slopes reach to the sea, extensive beaches of black volcanic sand could be found.

Nature

The cutting down of trees belongs to one of main ecological problems of Guatemala, mainly in Peten, where the development of agricultural estates and cattle breeding makes strong destruction of original jungle. More than 8000 sorts of plants in 19 ecological systems are growing in the country, from coastal mangrove forests up to inland pine forests and mountaneous forests. As far as fauna is concerned, big number of animals are living there - approx. 250 sorts of mammals, 200 sorts of reptils and amphibians and a lot of butterflies. Guatemala could be proud on more than 30 protected areas, including 30 protected areas, including parques nacionales (national parks) and biotops (biological reservations).

Climate

Although Guatemala is well-known as a country of „everlasting spring“, the temperatures could drop, especially in mountaneous areas, below freezing point, and the days are very wet and cold in the course of rain time period. During dry saison, lasting since end of October till May, very pleasant warmweather is dominatingin the mountains. On the other hand, tropical climate prevails  along the coast, i.e. it is very hot, rainy and wet there. The temperatures reach 32-38    °C, and the humidity remains very high even during dry saison. In a capital Guatemala, the highest temperatures dominate since February till April, whereas most precipitation arrives in June and September.

Population

The country has nearly 13 millions of inhabitants. The Ladinos (the Indians or cross-breeds who are speaking Spain) form 56% of population, the rest (44%) are the Aborigines. Approx. 40% of Guatemala population live in towns. The biggest towns are: Guatemala, Quetzaltenango and Escuintla. The average population density makes 170 persons per one square kilometer. 65% of population are able to read and write, anyway, big difference exists among various ethnical groups. According to some investigations, there is to be estimated that 95% of women are unable to read. The Mayos are very skilled persons, especially as far as needleworks are concerned. So, to most extensive activities belong weaving, embroideries and other works with textiles.

 

 

Place

Guatemala

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