mayan, visitor center, plant,animal,insect,culture information
Rio Dulce, Guatemala

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Facts about
Guatemala
Official Name:
República de Guatemala
Currency:
Quetzal and US Dollar (7.1648)
Area:
109,000 sq. km ] (42,500 square Miles)
Population:
16.58 million (growth rate 2.5%) (2000)
GDP:
$68.76 billion, 4.1% per capita $7,700 (2016)
Capital City:
Guatemala City (pop 3.3 million)
Economic Activities:
70% based on services like banking, Import/Export, insurance, ports, flagship registry, and tourism.
Government:
Constitutional democratic
Inflation:
11.4% (est. 2010)
President:
Martín Jimmy Morales (2016)
Industries:
Agriculture, corn, beans, coffee, cotton, cattle, sugar, bananas, timber, rice, cardamom
Languages:
Spanish Garífuna, 24 indigenous languages (principally Kiche, Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi, and Mam).
Major Products:
bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, livestock, cardamom and timber
Literacy:
69.1% (2004 est.)
Exports:
$9.864 billion (2012 est.)
Major trading partners:
United States 39.2% El Salvador 11.4% Honduras 6.8% Mexico 5.4% Nicaragua 4.0% (2012 est.).
Weights / Measures:
Metric
Military:
Army, Navy (includes marines), Air Force
Religions:
Roman Catholic, Mayan-Catholic
Unemployment:
3.10% (est. 2016)
Electricity:
110V, 60hz
Time:
GMT/UTC minus 6 hours
Visas:
Depending on the country you come from, stays are limited to 30 or 90 days. Check with the closest Guatemalan embassy for up-to-date information.

Officially Recognized Languages: Achi', Akateko, Awakateko, Chalchiteko, Ch'orti', Chuj, Itzá, Ixil, Popti', Kaqchikel, K'iche', Mam, Mopan, Poqoman, Poqomchi, Q'anjob'al, Q'eqchi', Sakapulteko, Sipakapense, Spanish, Tekiteko, Tz'utujil, Uspanteko, Garifuna and Xinka. More information

Climate: The climate here on the Rio Dulce is relatively consistent, between 70 - 90 degrees and humid with an average rainfall of 80 inches per year since it IS a rainforest. The entire reigon around the water here in Rio Dulce was declared a National Park in the 1980's and all the proper laws are in place to preserve this area. The unfortunate part is that there is little if any money to allocate enforcement of those laws. Therefore it has become the responsibility of the few of us who realize the danger and rapid loss of rainforest areas to responsibly provide examples to alternate uses of this beautiful land as an example to the indigenous people here. Although still primitive in many ways, this area is expanding at an expotential rate which will effect the preservation of the park unless action is placed. Help us keep it natural!

Bio Diversity:

Because Guatemala is on a small peninsula dividing two large land masses and politics (or rich people) have had disagreements with the U.S. in the past, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist except for bad press. Now if you were to think logically, you would realize that this small land mass has lifeforms from both South America and North America. This is a land of transition. Many of the life forms that you will find in Mexico or Costa Rica can be found here. Yet, by this being a sliver of land, it is potentially endangered faster and easier than a large land mass. Therefore, more crucial is the importance for protecting it.

Skin protection Information:

When purchasing sun screen keep in mind that this is a tropical climate and the sun is intense so a powerful sunscreen is good to have on hand as well for any long trips in the sun. If you plan on spending time in the sun, plan on protecting your skin with some high SPF lotion, a hat, sunglasses or whatever you need. The closer to the equator you are, the more intense the sun and you can begin to burn in less than 15 minutes.

There are some, but surprisingly few mosquitos here although a good repellent is always good to have at hand in case. If flying into Guatemala, many flights do not allow aerosol type cans onboard so keep that in mind if bringing repellent with you. In the years I have been here, I have yet to hear of any active cases of malaria in the area but I have heard of three incidents of dengay fever. Click this link for more information of prevention of problem insects. Not intended to scare you, but for you to be informed and prepared, as well as flying pests, there are crawling insects that sting or bite, so to better understand what is here and how to avoid them. I suggest you read the "Bad Bugs" page.

Water:

As a rule water is safe in your larger citys and you do not need to worry. When traveling it is always easy to find bottled water but please realize that there is no recycling for plastic here so try to refill your bottle when you can. Just for your ease of mind, potable water is provided for all of our services.

Medical services:

There is a small clinic here in town with adequate facilities, a great Optomotrist Dr.Sidney. Within minutes of Rio Dulce is a local hospital in Morales called Bethesda with all the modern technology and services comprable to any I ever received in the United States. Many of the doctors here were trained for their profession in United States universities. The rates are remarkably cheap by anything we are accustomed to.


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