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Legends tell, of how the Quetzal got hisbright, "blood red chest, in 1524, whenthe Spanish conquistador, Pedro de Alvarado, fought in battle with the greatMayan Leader, Tecun Uman.When the great Mayan warrior chief,was falling to his death,an emerald green male Quetzal,flew into the warriors chest, to try to protect him, &when the protective Warrior Quetzal bird,regained his balance, its chest wasmarked with the great Mayan Chiefscrimson blood. To this day, it is thesign of great warriors.• Guatemala currency named for the quetzal• Bird pictured on the flag
Size- Slightly smaller than Tennessee Climate- tropical; hot & humid; cooler in lowlands Terrain- mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau Resources- petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish and hydropower Natural Hazards- volcanoes in mountains, earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms Volcan de Fuego, erupted Sept 12, 2012, as seen from Antigua Guatemala Pacaya (elev. 2,552 m), erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City
March and April are the hottest and driest months. Rainy season- June to October is muggy and buggy With the rain, comes the mosquitoes: * * bring rain gear and repellent ** It doesn’t rain all day during the rainy season, but you can expect frequent showers October and November see the end of the occasional rains and a return to cooler temperatures In the highlands things get cool during invierno (November–March), especially at night. Zacapa is @ elevation of ~400ft .. Expect low 60’s at night in December
GDP per capita is ½ average for Latin America and Caribbean Agriculture is 13% of GDP and half of labor force Exports include coffee, sugar, bananas and vegetables Industries sugar, textiles and clothing, metal, rubber, petroleum, furniture, tourism In El Oasis many men are employed at melon farms owned by US companies
The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala & surrounding area during the first millennium A.D. 1534- indigenous Maya defeated by Spanish, led by Pedro de Alvarado; Guatemala becomes a Spanish colony After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821.
The 20th century has been characterized by dictators and jockeying for power. Many US fruit companies have land interests in Guatemala, most notably the ‘United Fruit Company’ During the last half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments 36-year Civil War of guerrilla warfare (1960-1996). Characterized by frequent changes of power, and deaths and disappearances of 200,000 people, known as ‘los desaparecidos’ Óscar Mejía, a particularly brutal dictator during 1980s
Guatemalans continue to face high levels of violence and weak and corrupt law enforcement institutions. Sixtypercent of the country lives in poverty, and the increasing levels of crime, gang violence and drug dealing show a society where inequality, racism and poverty dominate
Most populous country in Central America Mestizo 60%, (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European Kiche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Qeqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census) Religion- Roman Catholic, Protestant and indigenous Mayan beliefs
Averagemonthly income per family is US $227 (1999) Almost 70% of the population lives on less than US$2/day This is approximately 1/3 of the average income in the rest of the Latin America Children frequently do not have much schooling- often need to work to help sustain the family Relationship ALWAYS take priority over tasks Mi casa es su casa Machismo
Race and power go hand in hand Roots of racism all the way back to caste system that characterized time of colonization Peninsulares-> Criollos -> Indios -> Negros Mestizo = mixed In all Latin America, there has only been 3 indigenous presidents, and never in Guatemala Mexicos Benito Juárez, Perus Alejandro Toledo Bolivias Evo Morales
Richest 20% of population controls over 50% of Guatemala’s overall consumption More than ½ of population is below poverty line, with 13% in extreme poverty Poverty among indigenous groups (makes up 38% of the population) averages 73% and extreme poverty rises to 28%. Nearly one-half of Guatemalas children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world
Mayan staple foods like- Corn tortillas and Black beans (frijoles) are eaten at nearly every meal. They are usually refried (volteados), mashed, or simply eaten whole (parados) Chicken, turkey, and beef are normally accompanied by beans and rice (frijoles con arroz) or served in stews (caldos) Pepián , a thick meat and vegetable stew, is a common dish in the area of Antigua Seafood is common along the coasts Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as yucca, carrots, plantains, celery, cucumbers
There are many active volcanoes in Guatemala. This one – Volcán de Fuego (Fire Volcano) erupted Sept. 12, 2012
This sinkhole swallowed up a three-story building is said to have been more the result of poor planning when creating pipelines rather than nature.
CIA World Factbook- https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the- world-factbook/geos/gt.html Timeline of History - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_ profiles/1215811.stm Civil War Info- http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/guat emala704/history/timeline.html# Weather- http://www.lonelyplanet.com/guatemala/weath er Family - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu- projects/Global_Report/cities/guatemala.htm
1931- Jorge Ubico, pro-American dictator- gave special rights to United Fruit Company; overthrown by civil revolt in 1944 1944- President Juan Arevalo introduces educational, social-democratic reforms- including redistributing of land to indigenous peasants. Reforms continued by President Arbenz. 1953- Guate gov’t took over 40% of United Fruit Company land- exacerbating US worries of communist expansion President Eisenhower approves covert supplying of weapons to paramilitary groups opposing President Arbenz During the last half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war (1960-1996).
1954- US- backed coup instates Colonel Castillo and rescinds rights begun under previously elected official. Civil War officially begins in 1960 Civil War is characterized by frequent changes of power, and deaths and disappearances of 200,000 of people, known as ‘los desaparecidos’ Óscar Mejía, a particularly brutal dictator during 1980s
1996 – cease fire declared and peace talks begin In January 2012, Guatemala assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term. Guatemalans continue to face high levels of violence and weak and corrupt law enforcement institutions. Sixty percent of the country lives in poverty, and the increasing levels of crime, gang violence and drug dealing show a society where inequality, racism and poverty dominate many peoples lives.