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While Guatemala is the largest Central American country in terms of population, its largely rural Mayan population live in extremely difficult conditions. Distribution of land, income and other wealth is controlled by a small percentage of Guatemala's Spanish-speaking population (non-Mayan). 

An estimated 53% of Guatemalans live in poverty, and the roughly five million Mayans are isolated socially, economically and politically due to geographic and language barriers, as well as the lack of educational and economic opportunity.
The country's social indicators are among the worst in the hemisphere. Overall  illiteracy is estimated at 17%, which is greatly reduced from over 50% in 2008. However, literacy among Mayan women is estimated as low as 30%. Less than half of rural Guatemalans have access to running water, only one-quarter have access to electricity and less than one in ten have access to modern sanitation facilities. Infant, child and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in Latin America. As of June 2013, it was reported that one thousand infants are born every day in Guatemala, giving it the highest birth rate in Central America . 

Fast Facts

AREA: 67,512 sq. miles (slightly larger than Florida)

Mexico (N, NW)
Honduras (SE)
Pacific Ocean (SW)
Belize (E)
El Salvador (S, SE)
Caribbean Sea (E)

POPULATION: 15. million (June 2013)

CAPITAL: Guatemala City

GOVERNMENT: Democratic Republic

LANGUAGES: Spanish (60%), Amerindian dialects (40%)

Roman Catholic
Traditional Mayan


CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE: 7.7 Quetzals = $1 US (June 2013)

AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME per capita: $3,700 GDP per capita 

Statistics from The World FACTBOOK , &

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