Guatemala

Journey to the jungles of Central America to find out more about Guatemala and its ancient Mayan roots. Then scroll down for some of our printable activities to test your knowledge!

Ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal, Guatemala
Ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal, Guatemala

A Little Geography…

  • Guatemala is found in Central America, just south of Mexico. It borders Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, as well as the Pacific Coast to the southwest and the Caribbean coast to the northeast.
  • Guatemala covers more than 108,000 square kilometres, and has a population of about 17 million people. The capital is Guatemala City.
  • The country is home to some impressive mountains, volcanoes, rainforests and lakes. Its biggest lake is Lake Atitlán. Formed in a giant volcanic crater, covering 130 square kilometres, it is the deepest lake in Central America at 340 metres (1,120 feet). There are more than 30 volcanoes in Guatemala, of which three are still active.
  • Guatemala’s main agricultural export is coffee. But in recent years, farmers have also been exporting nuts, fruits, vegetables and cut flowers. Tourism is now the second-largest industry.

Guatemala's national bird is the colourful quetzal. You can see it on its flag.
Guatemala's national bird is the colourful quetzal. You can see it on its flag.

A Little History…

  • Ancient Mayan civilisations were found in the highlands of Guatemala as early as 2000 BC. Today, the Mayans still make up about half of the country’s population. Hundreds of ancient ruins can be found in the rainforests, such as the lost city of Tikal. Many more ruins still lie buried in the forests.
  • The Spanish conquered Guatemala in 1524. They ruled the country for nearly 300 years, until several Central American countries declared independence in 1821. Today, the official language is Spanish, although many ancient dialects are still spoken.
  • Following independence, Guatemala experienced a series of dictatorships alongside brief periods of democracy. But the country was overcome by a bitter civil war that lasted 36 years (1960–1996). During this time, it is said that more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared.
  • Presidential elections are now held every four years. But with so many small political parties, it is difficult for leaders to agree and to form a stable government.

Colourful masks for sale in a Guatemalan market
Colourful masks for sale in a Guatemalan market

And Some Interesting Facts…

  • The name Guatemala is said to come from a Mayan word meaning ‘Land of the trees’. Some people think that is originates from a different word, meaning ‘Mountain that vomits water’!
  • The city of Antigua Guatemala is overlooked by three volcanoes. In 1541, the crater of one of these collapsed, causing a devastating flood that destroyed the original settlement there. Today, volcanic eruptions can still be seen from the city.

Volcana overlooking Antigua Guatemala
Volcana overlooking Antigua Guatemala


About the Guatemala Flag

Guatemala Flag Printables

Guatemala's flag features two sky blue stripes on either side of a white stripe. The blue stripes represent the two oceans on either side of the country: the Pacific and the Atlantic. In the centre of the white stripe you can see the Guatemalan coat of arms.


Our Guatemala Resources

Guatemala Booklet

Guatemala Booklet

Print and fold these handy mini booklets and use for lapbooking or building up your own 'around the world' library. This booklet features the Central American country Guatemala. Instructions on how to fold the booklets can be found here.  

Guatemala Bookmarks

Guatemala Bookmarks

Our Guatemala bookmarks come in colour or black and white, with the country name or without, so you can find one to suit your need.  

Guatemala Fact Worksheet

Guatemala Fact Worksheet

Find out the answers to these facts about Guatemala and have a go at the location challenge. When you've finished this worksheet, why not build up a collection of more North American countries?

Guatemala Flag Colouring Page

Guatemala Flag Colouring Page

Colour in the Guatemalan flag. The outside stripes are a pretty sky blue. The central design is includes a pretty bird called a quetzal, which is the national bird of Guatemala.

Guatemala Flag Jigsaw

Guatemala Flag Jigsaw

Add a bit of fun to a project with this printable Guatemala flag printable jigsaw. It's very easy to prepare, just follow the instructions here.

Guatemala Flag Printable

Guatemala Flag Printable

We have some handy foldable flag cards for map pins or cards as well as 3 sizes of flag on our Guatemala flag printable.

Guatemala Location Worksheet

Guatemala Location Worksheet

Younger children can use our guided location worksheet, which provides the country and capital names. Older kids can be challenged to identify Guatemala on this outline map of North America with no help!

Guatemala Notebooking Page

Guatemala Notebooking Page

Wih one page completely lined and one with space for a picture this Guatemala notebooking page pdf is useful for project work.

Guatemala Worksheet

Guatemala Worksheet

Use our simplest worksheet on Guatemala to record all the interesting facts that the kids have learned about the country.

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