Area was inhabited by agriculturists by 2500 BCE; home to great Mayan civilization that flourished until 10th century; conquistador Alvarado subjugated native peoples 1523-1524; 16th century captaincy of same name included larger area than present nation; official language is Spanish, though much of population speaks native Amerindian dialects.

Quick Facts on Guatemala

Go Historic ID
17,422,821 (#67 in world) (2021 est.)
Spanish (official) 69.9%, Maya languages 29.7% (Q'eqchi' 8.3%, K'iche 7.8%, Mam 4.4%, Kaqchikel 3%, Q'anjob'al 1.2%, Poqomchi' 1%, other 4%), other 0.4% (includes Xinca and Garifuna) (2018 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) 56%, Maya 41.7%, Xinca (indigenous, non-Maya) 1.8%, African descent .2%, Garifuna (mixed West and Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak) .1%, foreign .2% (2018 est.)
Roman Catholic 45%, Protestant 42%, none 11%, other (Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and adherents of the Mayan, Xinca, and Afro-Indigenous Garifuna religions) 2% (2016 est.)