Flag of Guatemala
Guatemala Flag Meaning
Guatemala has a flag with two different colors and a symbol in the middle. The flag has three vertical bands, the two outer ones have a light blue color while the middle band has a white color. The combination and placement of colors in the flag has to do with Guatemala’s location between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. They also chose the colors of the flag that was included in the Federal Republic of Central America, where many of today’s country located in Central America was with. In the middle of the flag is a picture of the country’s national bird and a yellow banner with it says Libertad 15 de septiembre de 1821, which is Spanish for freedom on 15 September 1821.
|Population density||104.6 residents/km2|
Sierra Madre and Sierra de los Cuchumatanes are two mountain ranges that intersect the country from east to west. They consist of a number of active volcanoes and are characterized by frequent earthquakes. Between these two mountain ranges lies the highlands (altiplano), which consists of poor soils and are an easy prey for erosion. The highlands make up 26% of the country’s land, and here 53% of the population lives. Here you will find coffee plantations and subsistence farming run by the Native American communities. The lowland area facing the Caribbean is the most extensive, covered by tropical rainforest, but is also the thinnest. In the valleys facing the Caribbean and towards the Pacific, there are banana plantations, sugar cane, cotton and coffee plantations. In 1980, 41.9% of the land was covered by forest. This figure had dropped to 33.8% in 1990, which is a dangerous development for the country’s highly varied ecosystem.
The People: About 61% of the population are descendants of the Mayan people. The country’s population canbe divided into four main groupsbased on language and culture: the Ladinos (descendants of Spaniards and the indigenous population), Mayans, garifunas (in the area facing the Caribbean) and xinca.
Religion: Predominantly Catholic. Since the beginning of the 1980’s, a large number of evangelical sects have penetrated the country and a significant proportion of the indigenous population continue to practice their own religious rituals.
Language: Spanish (official), but the majority of the Mayan population has one of the 22 Mayan languages (cakchiquel, kekchí, mam, quiché, tzujil and others) as the main language. Furthermore, people on the Atlantic coast speak Garifuna.
Political parties: Movimiento de Acción Solidaria (Solidarity Action Movement, MAS); Union del Centro Nacional (National Center Union, UCN); Democracia Cristiana de Guatemala (Christian Democrats, DCG); Partido de Avanzada Nacional (National Progress Party, PAN); Frente Republicano Guatemalteco (Guatemalan Republican Front, FRG), the party of ultra-right-wing General Ephraín Ríos Montt; Partido Social Demócrata (Social Democracy, PSD); Unión Democrática (Democratic Union, Foreign Affairs); Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Movement, MLN); Partido Revolucionario (Revolutionary Party, PR); Central Auténtica Nacionalista (Authentic Nationalist Central, CAN). The Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional de Guatemala (Guatamala’s National Revolutionary Unit, URNG) was once the country’s guerrilla, but is now a legal political party.
Social organizations: Unión de Asociaciones Sindicales y Populares (Association of Popular and Professional Movements, UASP); Frente Nacional Sindical (National Professional Association, FSN); Central Nacional de Trabajadores (Workers National Joint Organization, CNT); Union Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (Guatemalan Trade Union Organization, USTG); Committee of Unidad Campesina (Peasants’ Unity Committee, CUC); Coordinadora Nacional Indígena Campesina (National Indian and Farmer Coordination, CNIC); Comunidades de Población en Resistencia (Resistance Villages, CPR); Comisiones Permanentes de Refugiados en México (Permanent Refugees Commission for Mexico, CPRM); The National Commission of Guatemalan Widows, CONAVIGUA; Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (Mutual Support Group, GAM); Consejo de Comunidades Etnicas Runujel Junam (Council of Ethnic Communities – Runujel Junam, CCE-RJ); Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Arzobispado (Archbishop’s Human Rights Office); Agrupación de Mujeres Tierra Viva (Women’s Association Tierra Viva), Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (Guatemalan Women’s Group); Coordinadora de Mujeres Mayas (Mayan Women’s Coordination, CMM). Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (Academy of Mayan Languages in Guatemala, ALMG); Coordinación Maya Majawil Q’uij (Maya Coordination – Majawil Q’uij) and the Consejo de Organizaciones Mayas de Guatemala (Council of Mayan Organizations in Guatemala, COMG).
Official name: República de Guatemala.
Administrative division: 22 departments
Capital: Guatemala, 2,318,000 (2002).
Other important cities: Mixco, 268,300 residents; Villa Nueva, 129,600 residents; Quetzaltenango, 115,900 residents; Escuintla, 63,400 residents; Chinautla, 47,500 residents (2000).
Government: Jimmy Morales, President since January 2016. The term is 4 years. Parliament has one chamber: the National Assembly with 113 members. 91 of these are elected in the departments. 22 seats are based on proportional selection.
National Day: September 15 (Independence Day, 1821)
Armed Forces: 44,200 Soldiers (1996)
Paramilitary forces: 10,000 (Policía Nacional, National Police); 2,500 (Guardia de Hacienda, Tax Police); 500,000 (Civil Defense Patrols, Militia and Reserve).