Located in Central America and bordered by Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, Guatemala is often referred to as the center of the pre-discovered New World. From its Mayan heritage to settlement by the Spanish and it's natural beauty, the country is a great destination in which to study Latin American studies, Spanish language, science, history, religion and anthropology.
As the origin of the mysterious Mayan Civilization and still predominantly indigenous, the country offers some of the continent's richest folklore. Guatemala is home to some of the most spectacular Mayan archaeological sites in the world as well as some of the last remaining Mayan communities, who constitute over half of the population. Guatemala is an excellent location for students interested in studying archeology or anthropology.
The Europeans first arrived in the 15th century, but it was two centuries later before Guatemala was conquered. The Spanish conquistador Cortés claimed the country for Spain in the 17th century. The Spanish managed to hold on to their power for almost two centuries, ensuring that they left a permanent mark on the country. In between the Mayan villages, Spanish colonial architecture can be seen and throughout all of the major cities, the buildings largely date back to the 17th and 18th century. The Spanish Empire was under threat in the 19th century, forcing them to concede independence to their American colonies. Guatemala was briefly incorporated into Mexico in 1822, a period in which Guatemala experienced relative stability. Guatemala regained its independence on May 31, 1985.
Guatemala is called “The Land of the Eternal Spring.” the powerful force of nature has destroyed so much of the country, it has also formed some spectacular sights such as volcanic peaks, subtropical rainforests and ancient lakes. There are an abundance of nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and nature trails that are ideal for those who are interested in studying ecology or the environmental sciences.
Guatemala is also a country embracing modernity, as can be seen in the country's capital, Guatemala City. Guatemala City is the economic, political and cultural center of the nation. The city is home to many museums, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, etc. to satisfy visitors. Guatemala has plenty to offer all students!