June 17, 2010

Guatemala Land of the trees

Guatemala may mean "land of the trees" in the Maya-Toltec language.

After arriving in what was named the New World, the Spanish mounted several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic that devastated native populations.

Guatemala is mountainous, except for the south coastal area and the vast northern lowlands of Petén department. Two mountain chains enter Guatemala from west to east, dividing the country into three major regions: the highlands, where the mountains are located; the Pacific coast, south of the mountains; and the Petén region, north of the mountains. All major cities are located in the highlands and Pacific coast regions; by comparison, Petén is sparsely populated. These three regions vary in climate, elevation, and landscape, providing dramatic contrasts between hot and humid tropical lowlands and colder and drier highland peaks. Volcán Tajumulco, at 4,220 meters, is the highest point in the Central American states.

On Thursday May 27th 2010 (05-27-2010) the Pacaya volcano started erupting lava and rocks on Thursday afternoon, blanketing Guatemala City with ash (It was raining sand when it actually was ashes) and forcing the closure of the international airport. President Alvaro Colom declared a "state of calamity." The Pacaya volcano left about 8 Centimeters of ash through all of Guatemala City. Cleaning works are in progress.

Guatemala is the 99th country visiting this blog

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