Guatemaladefined:The origin of the nameGuatemala is Indian, butits derivation andmeaning areundetermined. Some holdthat the name Guatemalameans land of the trees inthe Maya-Tolteclanguage.
Interesing andimportant facts Area: 108,889 sq km Democratic (42,042 sq miles)...slightly smaller than Tennessee Independence day is September 15th Population: 14,655,189 (July 2005 est.) 1821 Oscar Perdomo is the Capital City: Guatemala City Pres. There’s about Language: Spanish and 21 major Mayan 400,000 internet users languages in the country!
LOCATION Guatemala is located in Central America. It is between Mexico, Belize, Hondur as and El Salvador. The Capital of this country is Guatemala city which is where my mother was born.
SMALL BUT IMPORTANT!!! Guatemala has one of the most extensive and diverse forest systems in Central America. The country is home to 1,246 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles, and 8,681 species of plants. The most important of these biota is the Quetzal which is the country’s national bird. This beautiful bird is also the symbol of the countries monetary system and is in danger of being extinct due to deforestation and poaching.
THE TREASURE OFGUATEMALA The Quetzal is the symbol of liberty in Mexico, Guatemala, Cost a Rica, and El Salvador, much like the Bald Eagle is to the United States. The Quetzals tail feathers are what make this bird so unique. Their tail feathers can grow to be over 2 feet in length (thats about three times the birds body length!)
The legend of the Quetzal This famous bird has a long history, as it was the spiritual protector of the Mayan chiefs. It is said that the Quetzal would accompany them everywhere, aiding them in battle, and dying when they died. Legend has it that when Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado and his Spaniards attacked the Mayans in 1524, the Quetzal appeared crying out and pecking at Alvarado. At the exact moment when Alvarado pierced Tecum Uman [the chief], the sacred Quetzal fell silent and plummeted to earth, covering the body of the regal [Mayan] with its long and soft green plumes. After keeping a deathwatch through the night, the bird that rose from the caciques [chieftans] lifeless body was transformed. It was no longer the pure green of jade. Its breast had soaked up the blood of the fallen warrior, and so, too, became crimson, the shade of Mayan blood, as it has remained to this day (Maslow, p.19).
SERIOUSLY,THIS IS BAD!!! According to an organization called Lisa’s Reef, “earth at the present moment is now experiencing the greatest mass extinction of species since the age of the dinosaurs, and the sixth in the history of the world.” “If we succeed in destroying the complex genetic matrix that is the biosphere, then things may really get strange, making the global warming effects -the monster hurricanes and torrid heat waves -we are currently experiencing seem like the good old days (Lisa’s Reef).”
REALLYREALLY BAD!!! Recently Guatemala has been hit with a string of natural disasters. First, a volcano eruption that rained ash and debris on Guatemala City. And on top of that, a tropical storm hit Central America a month ago. In Guatemala, that storm took more than 150 lives.
Destroying the lungs ofthe world Today forest covers between a quarter and a third of the country, but this is fast disappearing. Between 1990 and 2005, Guatemala lost 17 percent of its total forest cover and deforestation rates have increased by nearly 13 percent since the close of the 1990s.
There is hope Although the increasing dangers of deforestation and The largest protected global warming has had a big tropical forest in North impact on the country of America, the 1.7 million- Guatemala, action has been hectare (4.3 million- acre) made to protect its biosphere. In 1990, Guatemalas Maya Biosphere Reserve government established the is Guatemala’s last Maya Biosphere Reserve to chance for preserving a protect Guatemalas precious significant part of the piece of the Maya Forest. forests that once covered Located in the Petén region of all of Petén. It is gradually northern Guatemala, the Maya gaining notoriety among Biosphere Reserve boasts an international travelers for astounding diversity of plant its vast expanses of and animal life, hundreds of Mayan ruins and communities tropical forest and the that are managing the forest remote Mayan ruins that responsibly, ensuring its lie buried within. existence for future generations.
Change The conservation of water, theyourself to prevention of litter, the planting of new trees and thechange the stopping of deforestation areworld!!!!! all ways that can greatly improve the biosphere of Guatemala, but also of our high desert. I have reduced the amount of water that I waste from learning about the severe impact that humans have on the world. Even though I havent had the chance to see these amazing animals and the beautiful reservations that Guatemala has to offer, I know that one day I would like to. I will do my part to protect the environment because I know that if I change myself and my actions, I can affect those around me.