Facts

  • Official country name: Republica de Guatemala (Republic of Guatemala)
  • Short and usual name: Guatemala
  • Population (2010): 14,360,000 people
  • Gross national income: $5,400 per capita
  • Life expectancy at birth: male 68, female 72
  • Exports (2009): clothing, coffee, sugar, bananas, precious and semi-precious metals and stones, fruits, petroleum, alcoholic beverages and vinegars, manufactures, pharmaceutical products.
  • Imports (2009): Petroleum derived products,  electro-technical machinery, vehicles and transport equipment, cloth or textiles, chemical products, pharmaceutical products, paper and cardboard, thread and linen, transmitters and receptors, steel and iron.
  • Government type: Constitutional Democratic Republic
  • Capital: Guatemala City
  • Local time: GMT -6, now there is no daytime savings period, but there have been some in the past.
  • Telephone Country Code: 502
  • EDM code: GTM
  • ITU code: GTM
  • Olympic Code: GUA
  • FIPS Code: GT
  • ISO 3166 Code 2-alpha: GT
  • ISO 3166 Code 3-alpha: GTM
  • RSS Language code: es-gt for Spanish (Guatemala)
  • ISO 3c code GTQ,
  • ISO Nb code 320.
  • Radio Code: TGA-TGZ, TDA-TDZ
  • Driving: Left side driving seats, drive to the right. Regular Unleaded and Super Unleaded gas and Diesel is availabe at all gas stations, some (Shell) have high octane gas also).
  • Metric system, I guess not. We use kilometers to measure distances, meters for almost everything else (fabric is usually sold by yard), legua (about 4km is also used). Area is measured in square meters, square “varas” (0.83m x 0.83m), cuerdas (means string, 32 x 32 varas),  manzanas (means apple, 10,000 sq. varas), caballerías (64.5 manzanas) . Pounds, ounces, grams and kilograms are used for weight, also arrobas (25 pounds), quintales (100 pounds). Temperature in measured in degrees Celsius or centigrade.  There are curious measures like picopada (the size of pickup truck bed), un montón (a lot) and  un pushito (a little).
  • Currency: Quetzal, Q.  current exchange rate fluctates every day, but it has been stable at around Q.7.85 (2012)  for US$1.00 (you can check the current official exchange rate here, banks usually sell 10 cents higher, and buy 10 cents lower, hotels do what they can) . Cents are called centavos, but unofficially they are called “lenes” and are practically out of use. Bills exist for the following denominations Q100.00, Q50.00, Q20.00, Q10.00, Q5.00 and Q1.00. There used to be 50 cents bills, but I haven’t seen one in a couple of years. Coins exist for Q1.00 (unofficially called palomas or doves, because they have one peace dove in one side), 50 cents (unofficially called Monja Blanca, the official flower), 25 cents (choca, one that cannot see well, because it has a woman only showing one eye), 10 cents, 5 cents and 1 cent. 1 cent coins are seldom used anymore.
  • Independence: September 15th, 1821 from Spain. On that day a national holiday is celebrated.
  • Constitution: 31 May 1985, effective from 14 January 1986; suspended 25 May 1993 by former president Jorge Serrano, who was taken out of power. The constitution was reinstated on 5 June 1993 and amended November 1993.
  • Languages: Spanish is the official language and spoken by most people in the country. Besides that, there are 22 Mayan languages recognized as well as Xinca (although is a recognized language, it has been said that less than 300 people still speak this language) and Garífuna, spoken by African and Caribbean origin Guatemalans.
  • 110V, 60Hz Power PlugVoltage is 110/60Hz so if you come from the U.S. you will NOT need an adapter, sometimes there is no ground plug, so you can need a 3 prong to 2 prong grounding converter. If you are coming from other places you may need a converter. 220 V is used only for special equipment and may provided in houses for dryers and ranges.

Sources:

http://www.sieca.int

http://www.wikipedia.com

 Ministerio de Economía former website

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: