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Guatemala

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Motto: “Libre Cresca Fecundo” “Grow Free and Fertile”
Anthem: Himno Nacional de Guatemala

Capital Guatemala City
Official languages Spanish (de facto)
Demonym Guatemalan
Government Constitutional republic
Independence from Spain – September 15, 1821
Area 108,890 km² (106th) / 42,042 sq mi
Population July 2009 estimate 13,000,000 (70th)
Currency Quetzal

[show-map id=’11’] Geography
The northernmost of the Central American nations, Guatemala is the size of Tennessee. Its neighbors are Mexico on the north and west, and Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador on the east.  Guatemala is mountainous, except for the south coastal area and the vast northern lowlands of Petén.  Volcán Tajumulco, at 4,220 meters, is the highest point in Central America.  Rivers form the boundaries with Belize, Chiapas, Mexico and Petén.  Guatemala has long claimed all or part of the territory of neighboring Belize, formerly part of the Spanish colony, and currently an independent Commonwealth Realm which recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State. Guatemala recognized Belize’s independence in 1990, but their territorial dispute is not resolved. Negotiations are currently underway under the auspices of the Organization of American States and the Commonwealth of Nations to conclude it.

Culture

Guatemala City is home to many of the nation’s libraries and museums, including the National Archives, the National Library, and the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, which has an extensive collection of Maya artifacts. There are private museums, such as the Ixchel, which focuses on textiles, and the Popol Vuh, which focuses on Mayan archeology.  The Music of Guatemala comprises a number of styles and expressions. The Maya had an intense musical practice, as is documented by iconography. Guatemala was also one of the first regions in the New World to be introduced to European music, from 1524 on. The marimba is the national instrument that has developed a large repertoire of very attractive pieces that have been popular for more than a century. The Historia General de Guatemala has published a series of CDs of historical Music of Guatemala, in which every style is present, from the Maya, colonial period, independent and republican eras to current times.

*Content gathered from Wikipedia