Guatemala

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Guatemala


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Guatemala is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. Located in Central America, with a population of over 18 million people, Guatemala is known for its Mayan heritage, colonial architecture, and stunning landscapes, which attract visitors from around the world.

The region now known as Guatemala was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Maya civilization, who established complex societies and cities across the area. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors arrived and began colonizing the region, establishing the Captaincy General of Guatemala, which included much of Central America and southern Mexico. Native populations were decimated by diseases brought by Europeans.

Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821 and briefly joined the Mexican Empire before becoming an independent republic in 1838. The country experienced political instability and violence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Guatemala’s economy showed some growth and the country began to experience some political stability, although challenges such as corruption, poverty, and inequality persist. 

Guatemala is also known for its delicious cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes include tamales, chiles rellenos, and pupusas, which are all made with fresh, local ingredients.

Despite its many attractions, Guatemala is a country that faces a number of challenges. Poverty, violence, and political instability are all issues that affect the people of Guatemala. However, despite these challenges, Guatemala is sure to leave an amazing experience on anyone who visits. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, Guatemala has something to offer.


People

Guatemala has a diverse population with a rich cultural heritage. The majority of the population are indigenous people, primarily of Mayan descent, who speak a variety of Mayan languages. Spanish is the official language, and most Guatemalans are bilingual.

Guatemalan culture is influenced by both indigenous traditions and Spanish colonialism. Indigenous customs and traditions, including music, dance, and art, are still prevalent today, particularly in rural areas. The country is also known for its colorful textiles, which are often handmade using traditional techniques.

Religion plays an important role in Guatemalan culture, with the majority of the population being Roman Catholic. However, many indigenous people also practice a blend of Catholicism and traditional Mayan beliefs.

Guatemala has a young population, with a median age of around 22 years. The country faces significant social and economic challenges, including high levels of poverty and inequality. However, Guatemalans are known for their warmth and hospitality, and the country is home to many vibrant communities and cultural traditions.


Places

One of the most popular destinations in Guatemala is the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Located in the northern region of the country, Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. Visitors can explore the towering pyramids, temples, and other structures that were built by the Mayans over 1,000 years ago.

Another must-see destination in Guatemala is Lake Atitlan. Surrounded by majestic volcanoes and lush forests, this stunning lake is often described as one of the most beautiful in the world. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake, explore the surrounding villages, and learn about the indigenous Mayan cultures that have lived in the area for centuries.

Guatemala is also home to a number of colonial cities that are worth visiting. Antigua, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was once the capital of Guatemala. The city is known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque architecture and is surrounded by volcanoes, making for stunning views.

The country is washed by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, but it does not offer ideal beaches for swimming.

Livingston is a town, in eastern Guatemala, at the mouth of the Río Dulce at the Gulf of Honduras. It was Guatemala’s main port on the Caribbean Sea before the construction of nearby Puerto Barrios.

Livingston is populated by a mix of Garífuna, Afro-Caribbean, Maya and Ladino people and culture. 



Experiences

August 2013. Τhe central America tour begins.

to be continued…



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