About this jurisdiction

Geography and climateGuatemala is located in Central America on the Gulf of Mexico. The country covers an area of 143,000 square kilometers and has a population of more than 15 million people. Guatemala has a temperate climate with hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. The country's highest peak is Pico de Orizaba at 5,507 meters.nThe official language is Spanish and there are also some Mayan languages spoken in the country. Guatemalan culture is characterized by its syncretism of indigenous Maya, Spanish, and African elements. Christianity is the main religion in Guatemala.nHistoryThe first inhabitants of Guatemala were the Maya who lived in the region for thousands of years. The Spanish arrived in 1527 and began colonizing the country. Guatemala became a part of Mexico in 1821 and gained its independence in 1823. Throughout its history, Guatemala has been ruled by a variety of regimes – including dictatorships – but has escaped prolonged civil war. In 1982, Efrain Rios Montt became president after a military coup d'état and ruled until his ouster in 1983 during which time he was accused of crimes against humanity.n