About Guatemala Facts
In Guatemala, the Weather conditions vary from season to season and from region to region. The dry season start in October to early May, and the raining season lasts from late May until the end of September.
Temperature is usually very mild and very little during the year. The average high temperature is 77f and the low 55f for the central valley. Keep in mind that higher altitude temperatures dip low after sunset.
Direct-dial service to the USA is available, internet, fax, cable television, and radio are easily accessible
The local currency is the Quetzal, named for the national birds. The rates fluctuate, so check for the current exchange rate.
Major credit cards are accepted by restaurants, hotels, and shops in Guatemala, especially in tourist areas.
Air passenger pay US$33.00 but usually is included in your air ticket. Land and sea departures are different according to the area.
110-volt AC is found through most of the country, but a few locations have 220 volts.
Guatemalan government regularly is making efforts to modernize the immigration system but is a good idea to check the following link http://www.minex.gob.gt/
Guatemala has a democratically elected government with elections every four years. The president cannot be elected for consecutive terms.
Modern sanitary facilities can be found in the capital city of Guatemala and some parts of the country.
The last official census was taken in 2002. The census figures came in at approximately 12 million, but for 2017, the population is about 17 million. Guatemala is a mix of indigenous, ladinos, and Garifuna’s.
Most goods and services are subject to a 12% value-added tax (IVA). Hotels have an additional 10% Tax.
Guatemala is within the central standard time zone, and do not observe daylight-saving time.
A 10% tip is appropriate for restaurants. Some business add the tip to the bill so check before tipping
Guatemala is 42,000 square miles and is the northern end of America central isthmus. It’s bordering with Mexico to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Belize and the Caribbean Sea to the east and El Salvador, and Honduras to the south.
The country is comprised of majestic volcanoes, temperate plateaus, tropical plains, near-desert river valleys, lowlands jungles, and swamps.
Holidays and festivities:
All saint’s day in Todos Santos
November first is probably one of the most important days in the country. For this day, they commemorate the day of the dead. Cemeteries are visited and ornamented to remember family and friends. This is a blend of ancient Mayan beliefs and catholic traditions introduced by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Rabin Ajau Fest
One of the most important celebrations of Indian traditions in Guatemala is the traditional dancing of Paabanc. This festival is commemorated through the region by the Qeq’chis people that dress in their traditional attires.
Easter week in Guatemala
Easter time week is among the most vibrant periods to travel to Guatemala. Each one of the native Indian communities performs faith-based and folkloric traditions. Among the best locations to see this event is Antigua Guatemala. Locals participate in a procession through the street carrying statues of Christ representing the station of the cross. They are colorful processions that march on vivid intricately laid saw-dust rug on the village streets. The processions are held throughout the week and go throughout the whole town. Other towns with traditional parades include Huehuetenango and Totonicapán. The churches of Guatemala City also hold processions.
Horse Races of Todos Santos Huehuetenango
Horses are raced through town by natives wearing the traditional clothing of their group. Different types of food are consumed throughout the day, and a traditional prayer is given before any food is eaten.
Flying of giant kites in Sacatepéquez
The community placed 15 miles from Antigua Guatemala begins all saint day with the meeting of the villagers and a procession in the streets towards the cemeteries. Then, they fly giant kites to get in touch with family members passed away.
The giant kites have messages associated with the tails for dead and particular petitions to God. The festivity finishes having a traditional food known as Fiambre.
Celebration of Santo Tomas The Patron of Chichicastenango
Every December, festivities start with local Indian groups praising God and traditions. Take the time to appreciate the Palo Volador in which local people, hanging for a rope, swing around a pole within the primary plaza