May 31st, 2007
Posted By:
Categories: Fast Facts

Forest (c) Lynda Bernhardt

I thought it might fun to post some trivia about Guatemala. I tried to include information that might be fun and might even be news to a few of you. I have listed the sources at the bottom of this post.

Official Name: Republic of Guatemala

Original Name: Goathemala

Origin of Country’s Name: Maya-Toltec word meaning “land of the trees”

Form of Government: Republic with only one legislative house

Legal Voting Age: 18 years old; however, active members of the military may not vote

Most Populated City: Guatemala City, which is also the capital

Divisions of Country: 22 states, which are called departments

Number of Officially Recognized Languages: 25, with 60% speaking Spanish

Currency: Quetzal (Q); 1Q=100 centavos


Status in Central America: Largest and most populous country

Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than the State of Tennessee

Population: Over 14 million

Ethnic Groups:

  • Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian; also called Ladino): 56%
  • Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian: 44%

Workforce Breakdown:

  • Service: 40%
  • Industry and commerce: 37%
  • Agriculture: 15%
  • Construction, mining, and utilities: 4%

Fertility Rate: 4.66 children born to each woman

Life Expectancy: 65 (63 for males and 68 for females)

Literacy Rate: Between 55.6% and 71%, depending upon which source you cite

Religion: Mostly Catholic; also Protestant and traditional Maya

Main Exports: Coffee, sugar, and bananas

Climate: Tropical

Number of Ecosystems: 18

Natural Hazards: Volcanoes, occasional violent earthquakes, hurricanes, and tropical storms

Highest Point: Tajamulco Volcano, which is 13,845 feet above sea level

Number of Volcanoes: More than 37

Number of Active Volcanoes: 4

Forests: Called the “Lungs of the World” because they serve as a massive air filter for the atmosphere

Natural Resources:

  • Petroleum
  • Nickel
  • Rare woods
  • Fish
  • Chicle
  • Hydropower

Local Dishes:

  • Tortillas
  • Tacos
  • Grilled or fried meat
  • Beans and rice

Popular Drinks:

  • Coffee
  • Beer (light and dark versions)
  • Rum

Popular Restaurants: Chinese restaurants

Electric Power: U.S. standard 110V/220V 60 Hz, using the same types of plugs and outlets as in the U.S. Most wiring is two-wire with no ground.

Street Addresses: Use Spanish system of avenues running north/south and streets running east/west.


One Response to “Guatemala Trivia”

  1. spanish fun facts…

    Guatemala Trivia – Guatemala Adoption…

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