1. Even bank notes are colourful in Guatemala
2. Seven of the 33 volcanoes in Guatemala are active.
Pacaya volcano is twice as high as Ben Nevis
Pacaya volcano is only the 16th tallest volcano in Guatemala, the tallest one is Tajumulco with 4,220 mts which is over 3 times the height of Ben Nevis!
The 7 active volcanoes in Guatemala are: Acatenango, Santa Maria, Almolonga, Pacaya, Atitlan, Fuego and Tajumulco.
3. Guatemala produces more jade than anywhere in the world
The Maya used jade as a symbol of good luck and health.
The term Jade was created by the spanish conquistadors when they learned the natives in Mesoamerica used jade to cure kidney diseases. They called it “piedra de ijada” or “stone of the loines”. With time it became known as “Jade”.
Jade is found in Guatemala in all shades of green, lavender , black, “gold jade”, translucent white or “moon jade”, various other translucent jades like “princess jade”, “jade azul”, “lavender jade”, “jade gema” and “imperial jade”.
All in all we distinguish about 25 different colours.
4. Starwars Episode IV was filmed in Guatemala
"We are approaching the planet Yavin. The Rebel base is on a moon on the far side. We are preparing to orbit the planet."―Death Star intercom voice to Wilhuff Tarkin
5. First chocolate bar was created by the Mayans
Cacao is "The food of Gods"
The great Mayan civilization was from 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.C. and they were probably the first chocoholics of the world.
They consumed chocolate by first harvesting the seeds -- or beans -- from cacao trees. They fermented and dried them, roasted them, removed their shells, and ground them into paste. They often combined this paste with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other spices, then poured the spicy, bitter mixture back and forth between two containers to create a frothy head. Coco beans were so important in the Mayan civilization that they were used as currency.
- 6. Guatemala is the 5th banana exporter in the world
Guatemala produced 4,380,000 tons of bananas in 2013
Guatemala accounts for 7% of world banana exports,
making it the 5th largest banana-exporting country in
the world behind Ecuador, Costa Rica, Philippines, and
About 35,000 hectares (135 sq. miles) of Guatemalan
land is used solely for banana production.The United States is the largest importer of
Guatemalan bananas and plantains.
7. The Happy Meal was invented in Guatemala
The Happy Meal was invented by a Guatemalan in 1970's
She was a young housewife, when a savvy franchise owner in Guatemala, Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, came up with the idea in the mid-70s to make kid sized meals .She got the "Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World" recognition in Paris, France.
Now, 'Happy Meal' is part of McDonalds menu in over 35,000 restaurants and has sold about 100 million Happy Meals in one week.
8. Guatemala is Starbucks main coffee supplier
9. Guatemala has 23 different languages besides Spanish
Guatemala is mutli-cultural and plurilingue
There are over twenty three indigenous languages spoken throughout Guatemala.
Because of this, many newspapers and businesses find it difficult to communicate with many older indigenous people.
Spanish is spoken as a first or second language by approximately 90% of the population.
10. "Guatemala" means "place of many trees"
There are over 2,300 species and varieties of trees in Guatemala.
"Guatemala" comes from Nahuatl "Cuauhtēmallān" which means "Place of Many Trees".
Guatemala has a unique mixture of temperate and tropical elements. Connected to the north by cold mountain ranges and to the south by lowlands with hot, tropical influences.
It has a mosaic of ecological characteristics, with a wide variation in rainfall and drought, temperatures and soils, result in an extremely diverse species list.