Header Image
  • Print
  • Share

Country Profile


The Mayan civilization flourished throughout much of Guatemala and the surrounding region long before the Spanish arrived, but it was already in decline when the Mayans were defeated by Pedro de Alvarado in 1523-24. The first colonial capital, Ciudad Vieja, was ruined by floods and an earthquake in 1542. Survivors founded Antigua, the second capital, in 1543. Antigua was destroyed by two earthquakes in 1773. The remnants of its Spanish colonial architecture have been preserved as a national monument. The third capital, Guatemala City, was founded in 1776.

Guatemala gained independence from Spain on September 15, 1821; it briefly became part of the Mexican Empire, and then for a period belonged to a federation called the United Provinces of Central America. From the mid-19th century until the mid-1980s, the country passed through a series of dictatorships, insurgencies (particularly beginning in the 1960s), coups, and stretches of military rule with only occasional periods of representative government.

Capital City: Guatemala City (-6 GMT)  

Currency: Quetzal (GTQ) 
Languages: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40%  
(23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including  
Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)  
Calling Code: 502  
Voltage: 120  
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs  








Contact Us
Kareen Cruz
Guatemala City, Guatemala
+502 2362 9222