With almost 11 million people, Guatemala is the most populated country in South America.
The nation's official language is Spanish. Many people, especially in the Guatemalan highlands, speak one of more than 20 languages and dialects that developed from the ancient Maya language.
The Mayan ruins of Tikal are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Guatemala.
The peak of the Maya civilization spanned several centuries, from about 250 to 900. During that time, the civilization was centered in the lowlands of northern Guatemala. In about 900, they moved into southern Guatemala and north to the Yucatan.
Guatemala was a Spanish colony from 1524 to 1821.
Guatemala has a tropical climate. Temperatures vary widely due to altitude. Yearly temperatures in the lowlands and plains average 80 degrees fahrenheit (27 degrees celsius). Mid-range mountain valleys have an average yearly temperature of 60 to 70 degrees fahrenheit (4 degrees celsius).