Thursday, 14 June 2012

GUATEMALA

GUATEMALA CITY

Guatemala and its people and history had and have a very turbulent time. The country lies the furthest north of all the Central American countries. As beautiful and intriguing it is; it has a terrible reputation. It made a name for itself for strong coffee and sudden death but not from coffee.
In the north of Guatemala is a vast tropical forest and it is called Peten. The south has a densely population highland region and is dominated by Sierra Madre which are volcanic mountains.
Until the Spaniards arrived in 16th century, Guatemala was part of the vast Maya Indian Empire. In the forest are remains of cities the Maya Indians built 2000 years ago.
Not many people live there now but the dense vegetation has many animals. The most famous is the quetzal which is a rare bird with bronze-green plumage and a tail up to 90 cm long. It is Guatemala's national emblem and the country's unit of currency is named after it.

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In the country two recognized races exist. One is the Indians and the other is the mestizos. These are of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry and some of pure Spanish descent. The Indians live in the mountains growing maize and vegetables on steep and harsh hillsides. The families move to the central highlands for some time in the year, to earn extra cash. They work on coffee, cotton, and tobacco plantations. In the coastal lowland are sugar cane, bananas and pineapples cultivated and harvested.
The capital Guatemala City is the largest in Central America. It has a population of nearly one million. The original capital Antigua was destroyed by an earthquake and after that the Guatemala City was built. Unfortunately, it was twice destroy by an earthquake in 1917 and 1976.
After the independence in 1821, Guatemala was ruled by dictators until recently. However, many people still work for low wages and can't read and write. The military has the real power and the people who ask for reform draw attention from the 'death squads’. They are undercover assassins working for the police and army.
GUATEMALA CITY
GUATEMALA CITY BY NIGHT

TIKAY MAYA RUIN

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