Guatemala The official name is the Republic of Guatemala, or República de Guatemala. The capital is Guatemala City. The name "Guatemala" comes from the Mayan K'iche' language meaning "many trees".When Spain conquered this area about 500 years ago, this was the name the Spanish soldiers gave to this territory.
The Flag of Guatemala The flag of Guatemala consists of three equal vertical stripes of light blue, white, and light blue with the coat of arms in the center of the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all on a pair of crossed rifles and a pair of crossed swords and surrounded by a wreath.
Guatemala is in Central America Seattle
Guatemala is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico to the north, Belize to the northeast, and El Salvador and Honduras to the south.
Climate • The climate varies between hot, humid tropical lowlands and colder and drier in the highlands. • The average temperature in Guatemala City is 68°. The warmest is 84° in May and the coolest is 52° in January. • The month with the most rain is June. • Guatemala receives no frost or snow.
Geography Guatemala is mountainous with small dune patches, hilly valleys and coastal areas.
Geography • Guatemala has many rivers, lakes, and mountains. • Guatemala has Mangrove forests, ocean beaches, dry forests and thorn bushes, rain forests, wetlands, and pine forests. • The tropical forests of Guatemala are covered with orchids, mosses, and ferns, and the cloud forest mist provides a water source to air plants known as bromelids which cling to tree trunks. • It has almost every type of ecosystem except snow and desert.
Wildlife Guatemala is home to many different animals. There are many kinds of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Birds including the Quetzal (the national bird), macaws, parakeets, parrots, ducks, hummingbirds, toucans, turkeys, eagles, hawks, owls, egrets, and many more. Mammals include jaguars, howler monkeys, cougars, Margals (small leopards), giant anteaters, ocelotes, deer, tapir, coyotes, pacari, river otters, oposum, armadillo, racoons, squirrel, weasels, manatee, spider monkeys, bats, skunk, bats and rabbits
Wildlife Reptiles include crocodiles, boa constrictors, coral snakes, rattle snakes, barba amarilla, forest racers, iguanas, gila monsters, and turtles. Amphibians include many different types of frogs, toads and salamanders. Guatemala has many lakes and streams, as well as ocean on both sides, so it is also home to many types of fresh and salt water fish.
Volcanoes Guatemala has 37 volcanoes, four of them are active—Picaya, Santiaguito, Fuego and Tacaná. Volcán Tajumulco is the highest point in Central America at 13,845 feet tall. Volcan Fuego most recently erupted in September of 2012.
History • Archaeologists believe that the earliest settlers in Guatemala arrived about 14,000 years ago. • People began to farm and form villages about 3,000 years ago—some of them became the Mayans who were the inhabitants of Guatemala. • The Mayans built large temples to honor their rulers. The one at Tikal was built about 1,300 years ago to honor their ruler Ah Cacaw. • In the 1500s (about 500 years ago) the Spanish invaded and fought against the Mayans and defeated them. Guatemala became a Spanish colony until 1821 when they claimed independence from Spain.
Historical People and Culture • The Maya civilization was very advanced in math and astronomy. • Scientists believe the Mayans probably developed the concept of zero and left written records using hieroglyphics and words. • The Maya are known for their very advanced calendar. They kept track of the solar and lunar years, eclipses and the cycles of visible planets. To do this, they developed a sophisticated mathematical system where units are written with dots, and bars are used to represent five units.
People & Culture • The population of Guatemala is about 13 million people, the most of any country in Central America. • The current people of Guatemala are descended from native American Indians, Spaniards, Africans and other European immigrants. • The culture is a mixture of Native American Indian ways and Spanish ways. • The official language is Spanish, but many people still speak a Mayan language (there are 21 different Mayan languages), and follow traditional Mayan customs. • They make traditional crafts and textiles (fabrics). • Traditional Mayan dress is still worn in many parts of the country. • Most fabrics are hand-woven and sold in the local markets or in the street markets.
People & Culture • Drums flutes and marimbas are the most important traditional Mayan musical instruments. • Farming is the major source of income for the people—the main products grown are coffee, sugar, cocoa and bananas. • Cocoa is the plant from which we get chocolate. The Mayans have been growing and making chocolate for thousands of years. • School is free for the children in Guatemala to attend, but the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation to school often makes it difficult for the children in poorer areas to attend, and many of them are not able to go to school.
Living in Guatemala • Kids in Guatemala love to play games. They enjoy soccer (fútbol), piῆatas, egg and spoon races, and a game called Ulama. • Ulama is a ball game based on an ancient Mayan sport, which people still play today. A nine pound rubber ball is smacked from the hip and forearms. The object of the game is to keep the ball in play and within the boundary lines. There are five or more players on each team. Points are awarded when the other team misses a ball, hits the ball out of turn, or hits the ball with anything other than the hip. The first team that reaches eight points in the winner. • The ancient Mayans even made Ulama courts with stands on the sides where they held competitions. It was played by men, women and children.
Currency The money of Guatemala money is called the Quetzal
Food • Corn is a main food for Guatemalans. It is most often eaten as tortillas (a thin corn pancake). These are usually served warm, wrapped in cloth • Black beans (frijoles) are another main food, eaten at almost every meal. They are eaten refried (volteados/refritos), mashed, or whole (parados). • Chicken, turkey and beef are the most popular meats and are normally eaten with beans and rice (frijoles con arroz). • Meats are often served in stews (caldos) or cooked in a spicy chili sauce. • Pepián, a thick meat and vegetable stew is a common dish in Antigua. • Seafood is most common along the coasts and is usually prepared with spices. • Other popular dishes are bistec (grilled or fried), guacamole, mosh (porridge), churrasco (charcoal-grilled steak), and chilesrellenos (chiles stuffed with meat and vegetables). • They also eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and sometimes donas (donuts).
Pan de Banano (Banana Bread) de Guatemala Ingredients ½ cup butter ½ cup sugar 1 pound ripe bananas (about 2 or 3 large) ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1 egg, beaten well 1½ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder Procedure Preheat oven to 350°F. Soften the butter to room temperature and mix it with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas and add it to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the salt, lemon juice, cinnamon, and egg. Sift the flour with the baking powder and slowly add it to the liquid mixture. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, approximately 9 x 5 inches. Bake in oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Read more: http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Guatemala.html#ixzz2TEXp8DCU Arroz Guatemalteco (Guatemalan-Style Rice) Ingredients 2 cups long grain rice 2 Tablespoons oil 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet red peppers, green peas), finely chopped Salt and pepper, to taste 4 cups chicken stock Procedure Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add rice. Sauté lightly until the rice has absorbed the oil, being careful not to let it change color. Add the mixed vegetables, salt, pepper, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cool for about 20 minutes until rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Serves 6 to 8. Guacamole Ingredients 1 ripe avocado 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (or 1 cube chicken bouillon) 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced Tomatoes and onions, chopped, to taste (optional) Procedure Peel, remove the pit, and thoroughly mash the avocado. Add the bouillon and the minced garlic. Mix well. Add chopped tomatoes and onions, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.
Spanish Tortilla Ingredients 3 large, white potatoes, thinly sliced ¼ cup olive oil 1 onion, chopped Salt and pepper, to taste 4 eggs 1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced Flat-leaf parsley, minced Procedure Skins may be left on the potatoes, if preferred. Slice the potatoes very thin. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a 9- or 10-inch skillet and sauté the potatoes and onion, stirring, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and gently mix the potatoes with the eggs. In another frying pan, heat the remaining oil and pour in the potato and egg mixture. Cook over medium heat without stirring until set. With a plate, flip over and cook on the other side until browned. Garnish with pepper and parsley. Guatemalan Cucumber Soup Ingredients 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 1 pound pickling cucumbers (peel off skin, if waxed), chopped 1 medium onion 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped 3 cups low sodium chicken broth Ground pepper, to taste Pinch of salt (optional) ¼ cup plain, nonfat yogurt 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped Procedure In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the cucumbers, onions, and red pepper. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth, and then return it to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and season to taste with salt (optional) and pepper. Serve hot, topped with a Tablespoon of yogurt and a sprinkling of parsley. Makes 4 servings. Read more: http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Guatemala.html#ixzz2TEb2BTyk
Pan de Banano (Banana Bread) de Guatemala Ingredients ½ cup butter ½ cup sugar 1 pound ripe bananas (about 2 or 3 large) ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1 egg, beaten well 1½ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder Procedure Preheat oven to 350°F. Soften the butter to room temperature and mix it with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas and add it to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the salt, lemon juice, cinnamon, and egg. Sift the flour with the baking powder and slowly add it to the liquid mixture. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, approximately 9 x 5 inches. Bake in oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Read more: http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Guatemala.html#ixzz2TEXp8DCU