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Republic of Guatemala
República de Guatemala (Spanish)
Motto: "País de la Eterna Primavera"
"Country of the Eternal Spring"
Anthem: Himno Nacional de Guatemala
National anthem of Guatemala
(and largest city) Guatemala City
Official language(s) Spanish
Government Unitary presidential Constitutional republic
- President Álvaro Colom Caballero
- Vice President Rafael Espada
Independence from Spain
- Declared (independence from Spain) 15 September 1821
- Total 108,890 km2 (106th)
42,042 sq mi
- Water (%) 0.4
- July 2009 estimate 13,276,517 (68th)
- July 2007 census 12,728,111
- Density 129/km2 (85th)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
- Total $70.150 billion
- Per capita $4,884
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
- Total $41.471 billion
- Per capita $2,887
Gini (2002) 55.1 (high)
HDI (2010) 0.560 (medium) (116th)
Currency Quetzal (GTQ)
Time zone Central Time (UTC-6)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code GT
Internet TLD .gt
Calling code +502
Guatemala (pronounced /ˌɡwɑːtəˈmɑːlə/ ( listen); Spanish: República de Guatemala, Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika ðe ɣwateˈmala]) 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, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. Its area is 108,890 km² (42,043 mi²) with an estimated population of 13,276,517.
A representative democracy, its capital is Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The former Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization, which continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. The Mayas live in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the southern part of Mexico and northern parts of El Salvador.
Guatemala became independent from Spain in 1821, joining the Mexican Empire. After it became an independent country in its own right, it was ruled by a series of dictators, assisted by the United Fruit Company. The late 20th century saw Guatemala embroiled in a 36-year-long civil war. Following the war, Guatemala has witnessed successive democratic elections, most recently in 2007.