Guatemala (/ˌɡwɑːtəˈmɑːlə/ (About this sound listen) GWAH-tə-MAH-lə; Spanish: [gwateˈmala]), officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated state 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 in 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, 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. As of 2014, Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index.
Guatemala’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot.
Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site, a place where people are inspired to plan and book direct from millions of travel options at the best prices.
Couchsurfing is a global community of 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.
workaway.info is an international hospitality service that allows members to contact one another to organise homestays and cultural exchange. Volunteers or “Workawayers”, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host. Spread over 170 countries !
Booking.com‘s description : Whoever you are, whatever you seek, we’ve got the perfect place for you. Our 28,475,497 listings include 5,251,653 listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and are located in 131,438 destinations in 228 countries and territories. Booking.com B.V. is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is supported internationally by 198 offices in 70 countries.
Airbnb is an international company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct tours.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 600 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide – covering approximately 7.5 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants –