facts about guatemala

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The population of Guatemala is over 13 Million, close to 3 million live in Guatemala city. Two major tragedies killed about 223,000 people. In 1976, 23,000 died after a powerful earthquake. During the span from 1960 to 1996, civil war ensued in which 200,000 people, mostly unarmed indigenous civilians, were killed. For over 500 years the indigenous people have lived in terrible and unjust conditions.  Today they lack of opportunities for education, health care, and a decent salary, the majority just survives from agriculture work.  The minimum salary is Q46.00 Quetzals which about $6.00US a day.  49% of the children under 5 years old suffer from chronic malnutrition, and 70% of these children are indigenous.  



Area: 108,890 sq. km. (42,042 sq. mi.); about the size of Tennessee.

Cities: Capital --Guatemala City (metro area pop. 2.5 million).

Other major cities --Quetzaltenango, Escuintla.

Terrain: Mountainous, with fertile coastal plain.

Climate: Temperate in highlands; tropical on coasts.

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Nationality: Noun and adjective --Guatemalan(s).
Population (2006 est.): 12.3 million.
Annual population growth rate (2006 est.): 2.27%.
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Spanish-Indian), indigenous.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, traditional Mayan.
Languages: Spanish, 24 indigenous languages (principally Kiche, Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi, and Mam).
Education: Years compulsory --6. Attendance --41%. Literacy--70.6%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--36.9/1,000. Life expectancy --65.19 yrs.