Guatemala

  • Posted on: 30 October 2014
  • By: admin

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, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. It spans an area of 108,890 km2 (42,043 sqmi) and has an estimated population of 15,806,675, making it the most populous state in Central America. A representative democracy, its capital is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Guatemala lies between latitudes 13° and 18°N, and longitudes 88° and 93°W.

The country is mountainous with small desert and sand dune patches, hilly valleys, except for the south coastal area and the vast northern lowlands of Petén department. Two mountain chains enter Guatemala from west to east, dividing the country into three major regions: the highlands, where the mountains are located; the Pacific coast, south of the mountains and the Petén region, north of the mountains. All major cities are located in the highlands and Pacific coast regions; by comparison, Petén is sparsely populated. These three regions vary in climate, elevation, and landscape, providing dramatic contrasts between hot, humid tropical lowlands and colder, drier highland peaks. Volcán Tajumulco, at 4,220 m, is the highest point in the Central American countries.

50–60% of the Guatemalan population is Roman Catholic, 30-40% Protestant, 5% Syriac Orthodox, 3% Eastern Orthodox and 1% follow the indigenous Mayan faith.Catholicism was the official religion during the colonial era. However, the practice of Protestantism has increased markedly in recent decades. Nearly one third of Guatemalans are Protestant, chiefly Evangelicals and Pentecostals. It is common for relevant Mayan practices to be incorporated into Catholic ceremonies and worship when they are sympathetic to the meaning of Catholic belief; this phenomenon is known as inculturation. The practice of traditional Mayan religion is increasing as a result of the cultural protections established under the peace accords. The government has instituted a policy of providing altars at every Mayan ruin found in the country, so traditional ceremonies may be performed there. Among the Mayan population the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala is an important denomination. The church has 11 indigenous-language Presbyteries.