- 2.1Colonial Era (1519–1821):
- 2.2Independence and the 19th Century (1821–1847):
- 2.1Republic Under Carrera (1847–1865):
- 2.2Vicente Cerna y Cerna Regime (1865–1871):
- 2.3Liberal Governments (1871–1898):
- 2.1Manuel Estrada Cabrera regime (1898–1920):
- 2.1Jorge Ubico Regime (1931–1944):
- 2.2Guatemalan Revolution (1944–1954):
- 2.1Coup and Civil War (1954–1996):
- 2.1Since 2000:
- 6Flag of Guatemala:
The 1996 peace accords that ended the decades-long civil war removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. Tourism has become an increasing source of revenue for Guatemala thanks to the new foreign investment.
Tourism has become one of the main drivers of the economy, with tourism estimated at $1.8 billion to the economy in 2008. Guatemala receives around two million tourists annually. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Guatemalan seaports, leading to higher tourist numbers. Tourist destinations include Mayan archaeological sites (e.g., Tikal in the Peten, Quiriguá in Izabal, Iximche in Tecpan Chimaltenango and Guatemala City), natural attractions (e.g., Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey) and historical sites such as the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, which is recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site.
Chicken buses, recycled and often colorfully painted former US school buses, are popular within cities and for short-distance trips. There are a number of Guatemalan bus and van transport companies that most travelers use to get from the airport in Guatemala City to Antigua, Lake Atitlan in the Western Highlands of Guatemala and Monterrico on the Pacific coast.
Some first class bus operators (such as Litegua between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios, Fuente del Norte between Guatemala City and Flores, and Monja Blanca to Cobán) run safe, modern air-conditioned buses for longer distances.
Guatemala has 14,095 km or roadways with 4,863 km (including 75 km of expressways) paved.
There are no active railroads in Guatemala.
There are 11 airports with paved runways but the most important airport by far is La Aurora International Airport serving Guatemala City and multiple international destinations.
Flag of Guatemala:
The flag of Guatemala, often referred to as “Pabellón Nacional” (literally, “National Flag”) or “Azul y Blanco” (“Blue and White”) features two colors: Sky blue and white. The two Sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean sea); and the sky over the country (see Guatemala’s national anthem). The white signifies peace and purity. The blue and white colors, like those of several other countries in the region, are based on the flag of the former Federal Republic of Central America.
In the center of the flag is the Guatemalan coat of arms. It includes the resplendent quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala that symbolizes liberty; a parchment scroll bearing the date of Central America’s independence from Spain, 15 September 1821; crossed rifles, indicating Guatemala’s willingness to defend itself by force if need be; a bay laurel crown, the symbol for victory; and crossed swords, representing honor. The flag is one of only four national flags of UN member states to feature a firearm, the others being those of Mozambique, Haiti, and Bolivia.