Guatemala shares borders with Mexico to the north, Belize to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the south. It is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and has a short coastline by the east on the Gulf of Honduras. The Maya people represent around two fifths of the total population of 17 million people. They consist of several ethnic groups, speaking more than 20 languages and live in different regions of the country. The rest of the inhabitants are described as mestizos, that is, those of mixed Hispanic Mayan origin.

Guatemala became independent from Spain in 1821 but was ruled by several authoritarian and military regimes until 1985. The internal political tension was the reason for a civil war that lasted for ...

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