The core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica, was historically based in the territory of modern Guatemala. The main tourist destinations are the Mayan archaeological sites (e.g. Tikal in the Peten, Quiriguá in Izabal, Iximche in Tecpan Chimaltenango and Guatemala City), natural attractions (e.g. Lake Atitlán and Semuc Champey) and historical sites such as the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, which is recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. Guatemala is populated by a variety of ethnic, cultural, racial, and linguistic groups, 56% of the population is Ladino reflecting mixed indigenous and European heritage. Indigenous Guatemalans are 43.6% of the national population, which is one of the largest percentages in Latin America, behind only Peru and Bolivia. Most indigenous Guatemalans are of the Maya people, namely K’iche’. Guatemala’s official language is Spanish, spoken by 93 percent of the population as either the first or second language. Many traditional foods in Guatemalan cuisine are based on Mayan cuisine and prominently feature maize, chilies, and black beans as key ingredients. Guatemala has 14 ecoregions is a country of distinct fauna. It has some 1246 known species. Of these, 6.7% are endemic and 8.1% are threatened.

Experiences in Guatemala

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