A Glimpse on Guatemala
will take you to Guatemala, a small Central American
nation. Its 42,000 square miles comprise a rich
and varied topography.
The high Sierra Madre
mountains are the backbone of the country, interspersed
with temperate high plateaus filled with lakes, rivers
and 33 volcanoes. From the Sierra Madre other mountain
ranges reach towards the national borders and meet the
tropical plains. These, in turn, stretch towards the
sea and join the mangrove forests on the Pacific and
the Caribbean Coasts to the south and the east, while
the lowland jungles of the Peten -which contain the
second largest continuous stretch of forest in the American
Continent- lie to the north. Its neighbors are: Mexico
to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the south,
El Salvador and Honduras to the southeast and Belize
and the Caribbean Ocean to the northeast.
Guatemala has 14
different ecosystems and a rich biodiversity.
Among a list of 25 countries with the most plant
species in the world, Guatemala rates only second
to Panama. .
are the result of a merger between the Neartic and the
Neotropic plant and animal species. Temperatures may
vary from one region to another. However, the Guatemalan
highlands have gained the country the reputation of
being bestowed with one of the best climates on Earth,
with an average high temperature of 77ºF and an
average low of about 55º.
Guatemala is a hybrid of ancient
traditions and a religion and culture introduced
by the Spanish Conquistadors around the year 1500
...both of which -combined-
give Guatemala its unique personality. Guatemala boasts
some of the most impressive Maya archaeological sites
in the Maya World, such as Tikal. Although the official
language is Spanish, Guatemala is mostly composed of
an indigenous rural population dedicated to agriculture
and other traditional occupations such as weaving, carpentry
and handicrafts. Twenty different ethnic groups make
up Guatemala’s cultural and ethnic weave, of a
strong Mayan heritage, alongside a powerful white minority
of European descent. Two other ethnic groups may be
added to the not modest list of residents: the Garifuna,
who live in Livingston, a mix between Arawak Indians
from South America and black slaves brought from West
Africa to the Americas by colonials and the "Ladinos",
a widespread urban centered ethnic group- mostly characterized
by Latin machismo- which appeared after the Conquest,
a mix between Spaniards and Indians.
Guatemala has some of
the most colorful and impressive holidays among which
we may mention November 1st, or All Saints Day, celebrated
with huge kites in the villages of Sumpango and Santiago
Sacatepequez or with a horse race in Todos Santos Cuchumatan.
The Chichicastenango Fair, celebrated between December
14th and 21st, is one of the few occasions in which visitors
may appreciate the Palo Volador, where locals dressed
in monkey attire will soar through the town's plaza tied
to a rope...
All in all, each
town has its own fiesta and special celebrations.
However, week after week, each village -however
small- holds its market day..
Just strolling through
a market will seem like the most uncommon celebration.
Traditional fiestas are indeed one of the great excitements
you may experience on a trip to Guatemala! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org