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Country Facts Lago Atitlan Guatemala
Guatemala, 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, 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 both economic growth and successful democratic elections. In the most recent election, held in 2011, Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party won the presidency.
Capital (and largest city) Guatemala City
14°38′N 90°30′W / 14.633°N 90.5°W / 14.633; -90.5
Official language(s) Spanish
Ethnic groups (2001) Mestizo and European 59.4% K'iche 9.1% Kaqchikel 8.4% Mam 7.9% Q'eqchi 6.3% other Mayan 8.6% indigenous non-Mayan 0.2% other 0.1%
Government Unitary presidential Constitutional republic - President Otto Pérez Molina - Vice President Roxana Baldetti Legislature Congress of the Republic
Independence - from Spain 15 September 1821 - Restored 1 July 1823 - Current constitution 31 May 1985
Area - Total 108,889 km2 (107th) 42,042 sq mi - Water (%) 0.4
Population - July 2011 estimate 13,824,463 (69th) - July 2007 census 12,728,111 - Density 129/km2 (85th) 348.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate - Total $74.709 billion - Per capita $5,069 GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate - Total $46.897 billion - Per capita $3,182 Gini (2007) 55.1 (high)
HDI (2011) 0.574 (medium) (131st)
Currency Quetzal (GTQ)
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code GT
Internet TLD .gt
Telephone Calling code +502
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