Want to know fun facts about Guatemala? Well, you may be familiar with the term Maya. These Mayans used to inhabit the country we now know as Guatemala. Talking about the history of its inhabitants, it is known that the first inhabitants of Guatemala date back to 18000 BC. This is evidenced by the discovery of the Obsidian point.
Guatemala, which was previously inhabited by Mayan tribes, was then conquered by Pedro de Alvarado of Spain in 1524. This country later became a republic in 1839 after the Central American Provincial Union was dissolved.
Today, nearly 59% of the population of Guatemala consists of a group known as Ladino or also known as Mestizo. This ladino is a mixture of American and Spanish Indians. They have very white skin characteristics such as people of Spanish, Italian, German, English and Scandinavian descent. There are also found indigenous people known as Garifuna, who are of Black African descent.
Fun facts about Guatemala: it is rich in literature and mathematical calculations
Known for their rich literary literature, the Maya left behind manuscripts that the Spanish did not have time to destroy during the era of their conquest. The manuscript that was left behind contains a lot of mythology and like Christian bibles, the Mayan book or holy book called Popol Vuh and written in Latin Quiche tells about the origin of the world, the origins of good and evil, and explains the principles of morality.
So, it is only natural that the country won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1967 by Miguel Ángel Asturias, the only Guatemalan to have won the Nobel Prize. Apart from being rich in written literature, Maya culture was also rich in mathematical calculations. It is known that the Maya were the first to discover the number Zero.
The beauty of Guatemala’s nature
Talking about the natural appearance of this country, Guatemala has a relatively small area, which is only 108889 square kilometers. Even so, Guatemala has more than 29 volcanoes. Some of them are like the Tajumulco volcano which is 4220 (13845 ft) high. The peak of this volcano is the highest peak in Guatemala. In addition, there is also the Volcán Pacaya volcano which last erupted on 27 May 2010.
Surrounded by 3 volcanoes, Atitlán, which in Aztec “means in the water”, is a lake in the highlands of northern Guatemala. This lake is known as the deepest lake in Central America and is considered as “the most beautiful lake in the world”, by some researchers or explorers such as Aldous Huxley.
Peten is a tropical forest in this country which is included as the second largest tropical forest in the world and as the second lung of the world.
The flags, language, and currency of Guatemala
Regarding the flag of this country, its blue color symbolizes the Pacific Ocean. The blue hue on the Guatemalan flag will always change at the same time as the president changes. The reasons for this are not yet clear.
Regarding the original language of the Maya, there are about 21 variations of the Mayan language that are still spoken in Guatemala.
For this country’s currency, Quetzal, is none other than the name of Guatemala’s national bird which is rarely found. During the Mayan Empire, this bird’s tail feather was used as a form of ancient currency. For the Mayans, they believed that the Quetzal bird was an incarnation of the god Quetzalcoatl.
Guatemala’s iconic country production
You may also be interested in the production of this famous country in Guatemala. Guatemala produces more gemstones than any other country in the world. You can see this fact at the National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology in the capital city of Guatemala. Guatemala is also the third largest producer of antimony metal in the world, after Bolivia and Mexico.
The Mayans considered gemstones a symbol of safety and health. The term jade (gem) was coined by the Spanish conquerors who studied the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica using the gemstone to treat kidney disease. They also called it “piedra de ijada” or “loin stone” so that it became known as “Jade”.
Guatemala in food things
Happy Meals, which are part of today’s McDonalds menu, were created by Guatemalans in the 1970’s. She is a young housewife who successfully owns a franchise in Guatemala, Yolanda Fernandez de Cofiño. Her initial idea was to create food for small children and because of her creativity she earned recognition as the “Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World” in Paris, France.
You may also just know that the first chocolate bars were made by the Mayans in Guatemala. Including instant coffee drinks invented by the people of Guatemala.
Those are 6 fun facts about Guatemala. You may don’t know about them yet. We hope this article can enrich your knowledge, especially about Guatemala.