Republic of Guatemala
República de Guatemala
CAPITAL : Guatemala City
FLAG : The national flag consists of a white vertical stripe between two blue vertical stripes with the coat of arms centered in the white band.
ANTHEM : Himno Nacional, beginning "Guatemala feliz" ("Happy Guatemala").
MONETARY UNIT : The quetzal ( Q ) is a paper currency of 100 centavos. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, and notes of 50 centavos and 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 quetzales. Q 1 = $0.12658 (or $1 = Q 7.90) as of May 2003. US notes are widely accepted.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some imperial and old Spanish units also are used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Epiphany, 6 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Anniversary of the Revolution of 1871, 30 June; Independence Day, 15 September; Columbus Day, 12 October; Revolution Day, 20 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
TIME : 6 AM = noon GMT.
Spanish, spoken by some 60% of the population, is the official and commercial language. Amerindians speak some 28 dialects in five main language groups: Quiché, Mam, Pocomam, and Chol—all of the Mayan language family—and Carib, Kekchi, Garifuna, Cakchiquel, and Xinca. Amerindian languages are spoken by about 40% of the populace.
Guatemala is divided into 22 departments, plus Guatemala City, each with a governor appointed by the president. Municipalities are governed by a mayor and independent municipal councils whose officials are popularly elected for two-year terms.
Guatemala is a charter member of the UN, having joined on 21 November 1945, and participates in BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO and WTrO.
Guatemalan waters are rich in fish, including shrimp, snapper, and tuna. The total catch in 2000 was 40,078 tons (up from 6,513 tons in 1991), about 18% of which came from inland waters.
Guatemala has no territories or colonies.
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Jones, Oakah L. Guatemala in the Spanish Colonial Period. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
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