Guatemala - Spanish School, Languages School, CBA Spanish School

Go to content

Main menu


Why xela
Guatemalan native
Santiaguito Volcan
Mayan Civilization Tikal

Why Guatemala?

Guatemala is the nothernmost country in Central America. It borders to the North and West with Mexico; to the East with Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and the Caribbean and to the South with the Pacific Ocean. Administratively it is divided into 22 departaments, which are equivalent to States or provinces and it has a terrtory of 108,889 square kilometers (42,042 square miles).
The country enjoys moderate climate throughout the year in most of its territory, with an average temperature of 20oC (75oF). Guatemala's total estimated population is 13 millon inhabitants. The official language is Spanish but 23 indigenous languages are spoken through the land. It should be highlighted that Guatemala's nature is extensive and unique.
This makes is a natural paradise with a wide variety of landscape, from the tropical rainforest of Peten, through the volcanose and lakes of the highland, to the tropical
beaches of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribben Sea. Therefore it has a vast amount of flora and fauna that makes Guatemala rank very high in biological diversity in Central America.
The legacy of the Mayan civilization and the colonial period as well as its living cultures (customs and tradicionts) represent the main attractions of the country. The Mayans developed a very complex social, political, scientific and artistic organization. They developed a calendar as accurate as the gregorian calendar. Its architecture is based on pyramidal shaped-scaled boides with huge staircases.
They were the creators of hyroglyphic writing that has made it possible to interpret their legacy through the passing of time. Scholars who study Mayan civilization have divided its evolution in three great periods: the pre-Classic (2000 to 250 a.D.); the Classic (250 a.D.) and the Post-Classic (900 a.D. until the arrival of the Spaniards). There is ahuge number of archaeological sites throughout the country, particulary in the departament of Peten, where Tikal is the most important ceremonial center of the Mayan World and was declared Mankind's Heritage by UNESCO in 1979. The Colonial period has its best expression in Antigua Guatemala, the third most important city in the Spanish colinies of America and the capital of the Kingdom and Hearing of Guatemala over a period of 233 year. The kingdom of Guatemala included the provinces of Chiapas and Soconusco (today part of Mexico), Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Antigua Guatemala suffered from frequent earthquakers and was finally destroyed by the "Santa Marta" earhquake on July 29, 1773. As a result of it, the capital was transferred to the valley called "de la Ermita" or "Valle de la
Virgen" (Valley of the Virgin) in 1776, where it is currently located. Today, Guatemala's culture has two cleary markedcultural exprerssions, one associated to the Western culture and one clearly from the indigneous communities. The former is found primarily in Guatemala City, a modern, cosmopolitan and growing hub, and the latter, mainly in the highlands, where the customs and traditions of each village stand out, particularly with their colorful dress, their handicrafts and the celebration of their festivities through different religious, cultural, social and sports events, where the muscial framework of the marimba, the national instrument, is never far.

Back to content | Back to main menu