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Guatemala

 
Flag of Guatemala
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Coordinates:
15.50 N  90.25 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Guatemala

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Guatemala Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created some 1 million refugees.
   Geography    Guatemala Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
15 30 N, 90 15 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 108,890 sq km
land: 108,430 sq km
water: 460 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Tennessee
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,687 km
border countries: Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
400 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 13.22%
permanent crops: 5.6%
other: 81.18% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
1,300 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
no natural harbors on west coast
   People    Guatemala Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,293,545 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.1% (male 2,573,359/female 2,479,098)
15-64 years: 55.5% (male 3,353,630/female 3,468,184)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 194,784/female 224,490) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 19.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.27% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.88 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 30.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 69.38 years
male: 67.65 years
female: 71.18 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.82 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
78,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,800 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Guatemalan(s)
adjective: Guatemalan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) 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% (2001 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70.6%
male: 78%
female: 63.3% (2003 est.)
   Government    Guatemala Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
conventional short form: Guatemala
local long form: Republica de Guatemala
local short form: Guatemala
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democratic republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemala
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; note - suspended 25 May 1993 by former President Jorge SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president; amended November 1993
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal (active duty members of the armed forces may not vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day)
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 9 November 2003; runoff held 28 December 2003 (next to be held September 2007)
election results: Oscar BERGER Perdomo elected president; percent of vote - Oscar BERGER Perdomo (GANA) 54.1%, Alvarado COLOM (UNE) 45.9%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 9 November 2003 (next to be held September 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GANA 49, FRG 41, UNE 33, PAN 17, other 18
note: for the 9 November 2003 election, the number of congressional seats increased from 113 to 158
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitutcionalidad is Guatemala's highest court (five judges are elected for concurrent five-year terms by Congress, each serving one year as president of the Constitutional Court; one is elected by Congress, one elected by the Supreme Court of Justice, one appointed by the president, one elected by Superior Counsel of Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, and one by Colegio de Abogados); Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (13 members serve concurrent five-year terms and elect a president of the Court each year from among their number; the president of the Supreme Court of Justice also supervises trial judges around the country, who are named to five-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Authentic Integral Development or DIA [Eduardo SUGER]; Grand National Alliance or GANA (an alliance of smaller parties) [Alfredo VILA Giron, secretary general]; Green Party or LOV [Rodolfo ROSALES Garcis-Salaz]; Guatemalan Christian Democracy or DCG [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Alba ESTELA Maldonado, secretary general]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; Movement for Guatemalan Unity or MGU [Jacobo ARBENZ Villanueva]; Movement for Principals and Values or MPV [Francisco BIANCHI]; National Advancement Party or PAN [Leonel LOPEZ Rodas, secretary general]; National Unity for Hope or UNE [Alvarado COLOM Caballeros]; New Nation Alliance or ANN (formed by an alliance of DIA, URNG, and several splinter groups most of whom subsequently defected) [led by three co-equal partners - Nineth Varenca MONTENEGRO Cottom, Rodolfo BAUER Paiz, and Jorge Antonio BALSELLS TUT]; Patriot Party or PP [Ret. Gen. Otto PEREZ Molina]; Progressive Liberator Party or PLP [Acisclo VALLADARES Molina]; Reform Movement or MR [Alfredo SKINNER-KLEE, secretary general]; Unionista Party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, ONUB, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Guillermo CASTILLO
chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador James M. DERHAM
embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
mailing address: APO AA 34024
telephone: [502] 2326-4000
FAX: [502] 2334-8477
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles and a pair of crossed swords and framed by a wreath
   Economy    Guatemala Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. The 1996 signing of peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, but widespread political violence and corruption scandals continue to dampen investor confidence. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with perhaps 75% of the population below the poverty line. Other ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, upgrading both government and private financial operations, curtailing drug trafficking, and narrowing the trade deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$56.86 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$26.98 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4,700 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 22.7%
industry: 18.8%
services: 58.5% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.76 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 50%
industry: 15%
services: 35% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.5% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
75% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 46% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
48.3 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.1% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $3.374 billion
expenditures: $4.041 billion; including capital expenditures of $750 million (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.1% (1999)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.898 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.025 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
425 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
35 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
66,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,104 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
263 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.087 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$1.341 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.94 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 48.3%, El Salvador 10.9%, Honduras 6.8% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.744 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 31.6%, Mexico 9.4%, South Korea 7.9%, China 5.3%, El Salvador 4.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.673 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.503 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$250 million (2000 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
quetzales per US dollar - 7.6339 (2005), 7.9465 (2004), 7.9409 (2003), 7.8217 (2002), 7.8586 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Guatemala Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,132,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,168,300 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala
domestic: NA
international: country code - 502; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 130, FM 487, shortwave 15 (2000)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gt
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
40,405 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
756,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Guatemala Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
449 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 438
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 110
under 914 m: 319 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
oil 480 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 886 km
narrow gauge: 886 km 0.914-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 14,095 km
paved: 4,863 km (including 75 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,232 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
990 km
note: 260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season (2004)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Puerto Quetzal, Santo Tomas de Castilla
   Military    Guatemala Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are liable for military service; conscript service obligation varies from 12 to 24 months (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 2,429,033
females age 18-49: 2,503,482 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,911,412
females age 18-49: 2,070,806 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 134,032
females age 18-49: 130,641 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$169.8 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.5% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Guatemala Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemalan squatters continue to settle in the rain forests of Belize's border region; Organization of American States (OAS) is attempting to revive the 2002 failed Differendum that created a small adjustment to land boundary, a Guatemalan maritime corridor in Caribbean, a joint ecological park for the disputed Sapodilla Cays, and a substantial US-UK financial package; Guatemalans enter Mexico illegally seeking work or transit to the US
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 250,000 (government's scorched-earth offensive in 1980s against indigenous people) 30,000 (Hurricane "Stan" October 2005) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
major transit country for cocaine and heroin; in 2004, reemerged as a potential source of opium, growing 330 hectares of opium poppy, with potential pure heroin production of 1.4 metric tons; 76% of opium poppy cultivation in western highlands along Mexican border; marijuana cultivation for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook