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Guatemala (/ˌɡwɑːtəˈmɑːlə/ (About this soundlisten) GWAH-tə-MAH-lə; Spanish: [gwateˈmala] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 17.2 million, it is the most populous country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841.

From the mid- to late-19th century, Guatemala experienced chronic instability and civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, the authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms. A U.S.-backed military coup in 1954 ended the revolution and installed a dictatorship.

From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, drug trade, and instability. , Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index.

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Cobán, fully Santo Domingo de Cobán, is the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz in central Guatemala. It also serves as the administrative center for the surrounding Cobán municipality. It is located 219 km from Guatemala City.

As of the 2018 census the population of the city of Cobán was at 212,047. The population of the municipality, which covers a total area of 1,974 km², was at 212,421 (2018 census). Cobán, at a height of 1320 metres above sea level, is located at the center of a major coffee-growing area. Read more...

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  • ... that the Guatemalan labor organization Committee for Peasant Unity once led a strike that forced a minimum wage increase of nearly 200%?

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Painting of a bearded man in early 16th-century attire including prominent ruff collar, wearing a decorative breastplate, with his right hand resting on his hip and his left hand grasping a cane or riding crop.
Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado led the initial efforts to conquer Guatemala.

The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a protracted conflict during the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, in which the Spanish conquistadores and their allies gradually incorporated the territory of the Late Postclassic Maya states and polities into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Maya occupied a territory that is now incorporated into the modern countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador; the conquest began in the early 16th century and is generally considered to have ended in 1697.

The conquest of the Maya was hindered by their politically fragmented state. Spanish and native tactics and technology differed greatly. The Spanish engaged in a strategy of concentrating native populations in newly founded colonial towns; they viewed the taking of prisoners as a hindrance to outright victory, whereas the Maya prioritised the capture of live prisoners and of booty. Among the Maya, ambush was a favoured tactic; in response to the use of Spanish cavalry, the highland Maya took to digging pits and lining them with wooden stakes. Native resistance to the new nucleated settlements took the form of the flight into inaccessible regions such as the forest or joining neighbouring Maya groups that had not yet submitted to the European conquerors. Spanish weaponry included broadswords, rapiers, lances, pikes, halberds, crossbows, matchlocks and light artillery. Maya warriors fought with flint-tipped spears, bows and arrows, stones, and wooden swords with inset obsidian blades, and wore padded cotton armour to protect themselves. The Maya lacked key elements of Old World technology such as a functional wheel, horses, iron, steel, and gunpowder; they were also extremely susceptible to Old World diseases, against which they had no resistance. Read more...

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Stela D, north side, from Quiriguá, representing king K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat

Quiriguá (Spanish pronunciation: [kiɾiˈɣwa]) is an ancient Maya archaeological site in the department of Izabal in south-eastern Guatemala. It is a medium-sized site covering approximately 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) along the lower Motagua River, with the ceremonial center about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the north bank. During the Maya Classic Period (AD 200–900), Quiriguá was situated at the juncture of several important trade routes. The site was occupied by 200, construction on the acropolis had begun by about 550, and an explosion of grander construction started in the 8th century. All construction had halted by about 850, except for a brief period of reoccupation in the Early Postclassic (c. 900 – c. 1200). Quiriguá shares its architectural and sculptural styles with the nearby Classic Period city of Copán, with whose history it is closely entwined.

Quiriguá's rapid expansion in the 8th century was tied to king K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat's military victory over Copán in 738. When the greatest king of Copán, Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil or "18-Rabbit", was defeated, he was captured and then sacrificed in the Great Plaza at Quiriguá. Before this, Quiriguá had been a vassal state of Copán, but it maintained its independence afterwards. The ceremonial architecture at Quiriguá is quite modest, but the site's importance lies in its wealth of sculpture, including the tallest stone monumental sculpture ever erected in the New World. Read more...

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Departments

Departments and municipalities

Guatemala is divided into 22 departments (departamentos) and sub-divided into about 332 municipalities (municipios).

The departments include:

Departments of Guatemala
  1. Alta Verapaz
  2. Baja Verapaz
  3. Chimaltenango
  4. Chiquimula
  5. Petén
  6. El Progreso
  7. El Quiché
  8. Escuintla
  9. Guatemala
  10. Huehuetenango
  11. Izabal
  1. Jalapa
  2. Jutiapa
  3. Quetzaltenango
  4. Retalhuleu
  5. Sacatepéquez
  6. San Marcos
  7. Santa Rosa
  8. Sololá
  9. Suchitepéquez
  10. Totonicapán
  11. Zacapa

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The current date and time in Guatemala is Friday, January 24, 2020, 18:42.
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