Sunday, 1 August 2010

Guatemala Information

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Introduction ::Guatemala

The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, some 1 million refugees.

Geography ::Guatemala

Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Geographic coordinates:

15 30 N, 90 15 W
Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

total: 108,889 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 106
land: 107,159 sq km
water: 1,730 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Tennessee
Land boundaries:

total: 1,687 km
border countries: Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km

400 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Current Weather
tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Natural resources:

petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Land use:

arable land: 13.22%
permanent crops: 5.6%
other: 81.18% (2005)
Irrigated land:

1,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:

111.3 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.01 cu km/yr (6%/13%/80%)
per capita: 160 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:

numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues:

deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:

no natural harbors on west coast

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