The origin of the name "Guatemala" is unclear, but several theories exist. "Guatemala" may mean "land of the trees" in the Maya-Toltec language.
Another theory is that it comes from the Nahuatl expression "Cuauhtitlan", meaning "between the trees".
Cuauhtitlan was the name the Tlaxcaltecan soldiers who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
Lastly, there is a theory that it is the Spanish corruption of a Nahoa word coactmoct-lan, meaning "land of the snake-eating bird".
The history of Guatemala begins with the arrival of the first human settlers as early as 12,000 BC or even 18,000 BC.
Civilization developed and flourished during the Pre-Columbian era with little to no contact with cultures from outside of Mesoamerica.
|San Francisco el Grande, Antigua, Guatemala|
The Maya civilization dominated the region for nearly 2000 years before the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century, although most of the Great Classic Maya cities of the Petén region of Guatemala's northern lowlands were abandoned by the year 1000 AD.
|Spanish Conquistador, Pedro de Alvardo|
The states of the central highlands, however, were still flourishing until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, who subjugated the native states, beginning in 1523.
The President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom
Guatemala remained a Spanish colony for nearly 300 years, before gaining its independence in 1821. It was then a part of the Mexican Empire until becoming fully independent in the 1840s.
Since then, Guatemala's history has been divided into periods of democratic rule and periods of civil war and military juntas. Most recently, Guatemala emerged from a 36-year civil war, reestablishing a representative government in 1996.
¨On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Guatemala on the 189th anniversary of your independence this September 15.
As Guatemalans all over the world commemorate this festive occasion, we join in celebrating your rich culture and honoring the growing ties that unite our countries. I have enjoyed the warmth and generosity of the Guatemalan people on each of my visits, and the Guatemalan community in the United States has made great contributions to our nation. These deep connections between our people reinforce our close partnership.
On my trip to your country last March, President Colom and I affirmed our commitment to work together on expanding economic growth, improving transparency and accountability, and increasing access to health care and education. Through our Pathways to Prosperity initiative and the Central American Regional Security Initiative, we are working together to widen the circle of opportunity for our citizens and promote stability throughout our hemisphere.
I wish all Guatemalans a happy independence day and a prosperous year. I look forward to continuing the partnership between our countries as we work to build a better world for our children.¨ U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton HERE
The THIRD Spanish Colonial Capital City of Central America, Antigua (Santiago de los Caballeros), Guatemala...at the foot of the Volcan de Agua HERE
The handwoven textile Tradition of Guatemala
· Thanks to Guatemala
· Thanks to Pre-Columbian Guatemala
· Thanks to Pathways to Prosperity
· Thanks to Central American Regional Security Initiative
· Thanks to Wikipedia
· Thanks to Los Artesanos de Guatemala, HERE