Guatemala Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Guatemala: Political System

According to DISEASESLEARNING.COM, Guatemala is an independent democratic republic with a multi-party system. At the head of the state is a president who is elected directly by the people every 4 years. Re-election is possible. The constitution of January 15, 1986 establishes the separation between the legislature (Congreso de la República, Parliament), the executive (President and Vice-President) and the judiciary (Supreme Court). See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Guatemala politics, and acronyms as well.

The parliament is elected every 4 years with 80 elected members in free, equal and secret ballot. All citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote, with the exception of active members of the military. The Supreme Court is appointed by Parliament for four years.

The official name of the country is:

República Guatemala

National anthem

The national anthem of a country is usually a piece of music underlaid with a text, which is intended to express the state, lifestyle or national feeling of a country. It is mostly played on particularly festive occasions, such as state visits, special holidays or to honor politicians, business leaders, etc. National anthem of the respective winning country for performance.

The introduction of the national anthems in most European countries goes back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The numerous former colonies that had become independent generally introduced their national anthems and also their national flags after independence, i.e. in the second half of the 20th century.

Based on flag descriptions by, the national anthem of Guatemala was written by José Joaquín Palma and set to music by Rafael Ovalle.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Guatemala.

It is in Spanish

¡Guatemala feliz…! que tus arasno profane jamás el verdugo;

ni haya esclavos que laman el yugo

ni tiranos que escupan tu faz.

Si mañana tu suelo sagrado

lo amenaza invasión extranjera,

libre al viento tu hermosa bandera

a vencer oa morir llamará.chorus:

¡Ojalá que remonte su vuelo,

más que el cóndor y el águila real,

y en sus alas levante hasta el cielo,

Guatemala, tu nombre inmortal!Libre al viento tu hermosa bandera

a vencer or the llamará;

que tu pueblo con ánima fiera

antes muerto que esclavo será.

De tus viejas y duras cadenas

tú forjaste con mano iracunda

el arado que el suelo fecunda

y la espada que salva el honor.

Nuestros padres lucharon un día

encendidos en patrio ardimiento

y lograron sin choque sangriento

colocarte en un trono de amor.(chorus)Y lograron sin choque sangriento

colocarte en un trono de amor,

que de Patria, en enérgico acento,

dieron vida al ideal redentor.

Es tu enseña pedazo de cielo

en que prende una nube su albura,

y ¡hay de aquel que con ciega locura,

sus colores pretenda manchar!

Pues tus hijos valientes y altivos,

que veneran la paz cual presea,

nunca esquivan la ruda pelea

si defienden su tierra y su hogar.


Nunca esquivan la ruda pelea

si defienden su tierra y su hogar,

que es tan sólo el honor su alma idea

y el altar de la patria su altar.

Recostada en un Ande soberbio,

de dos mares al ruido sonoro,

bajo el ala de grana y de oro

te adormeces del bello quetzal.

Ave indiana que vive en tu escudo,

paladión que protege tu suelo;

¡Ojalá que remonte su vuelo,

más que el condor y el águila real!


Famous pepole


Ricardo Arjona (born 1963 in Antigua)

He studied communication science and played in the national basketball team. He produced his first album “Dejame decir te am” at the age of 21, his second record “Jesus: Verbo no substanvio” helped him to his first great success. He emigrated to Mexico where he recorded his album “Animal Nocturno” with its well-known title “Mujeres”. The success of this record was so great that it won numerous gold records in Latin America and the USA.

Ricardo Arjona is one of the most famous singers in Guatemala and enjoys a growing fan base in Europe too.


Juan José Arévalo ()

Arévalo became president of the country in 1945 and introduced democratic rights such as freedom of the press, expression and assembly. During his presidency, unions were formed and agrarian reform was initiated, and from 1950 to 1954 the United Fruit Company was expropriated.

Castillo Armas (-1957)

In the course of the expropriation of the United Fruit Company under President Arévalo, the American State Department launched a smear campaign and accused Guatemala of being a communist country. With the help of the CIA, Colonel Castillo Armas invades Guatemala in 1954. The Americans attacked the capital from the air, President Arbenz had to abdicate. By 1957, Armas reversed all democratic gains and was murdered in 1957

Licenciado Oscar Berger Perdomo ()

After the elections on November 9th. or on December 28th 2003 (2 ballots) took office on January 14, 2004 Licenciado Oscar Berger Perdomo from GANA (GANA = Gran Alianza Nacional).

Álvaro Colom Caballeros (born 1951 in Guatemala City)

He has been President of the country since January 14, 2008.

He received the most votes in the presidential election on September 9, 2007 for the successor to Perdomo with around 28%. Since he had not received an absolute majority, a run-off election took place on November 4, 2007, which he won with around 53% of the vote. This makes him the first social democratic president of Guatemala.

Hernan Cortés ()

The Conquistador Cortes conquered

Jorge Serrano Elías ()

In 1990, the evangelical Christian Jorge Serrano Elías took power. But corruption was still part of political business. There were several meetings between the government and guerrilla representatives for peace talks. A year later, 2,500 refugees returned to the country. In 1994 there was a massacre by the military in a refugee camp.

On December 29th, a peace treaty was finally reached and after more than 40 years peace reigned in Guatemala.

General K. Laugerud ()

People died under his military rule. In the 1970s to 1985, the number of victims increased dramatically, especially among the indigenous population, and priests and catechists from home and abroad were persecuted and executed.

Rigoberta Menchú ()

1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Arana Osorios ()

Jorge Ubico ()

Ubico was president of the country from until. Under him, for example, according to the so-called “Vagabond Law”, the Indians were obliged to do forced labor

Mejia Victores ()

After a military coup in 1983, he took power

Writer and poet

Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 in Guatemala City – June 9, 1974 in Madrid)

Guatemalan writer and diplomat. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1967. He first studied law in Guatemala, after graduating he and his friends founded an adult education center in early 1920 to give the poorer sections of the population access to education.

In 1923 he went to Europe and studied political economy, religion and ethnology, among other things. He then made several trips through Europe, during which time he published his first literary works. After the overthrow of the dictator Jorge Ubico, he entered the diplomatic service and became cultural attaché in Mexico and Argentina. During this time he published many works that could not appear under the dictatorship.

Asturias is a representative of magical realism in Latin American literature, who uses the myths and legends of the indigenous people of his homeland in his work. He addresses the social, political and economic conditions in Latin America, the negative effects of the dictatorship and the role of the USA in this region of the world.

Actors, directors

Abel Solares (born 1954 in Guatemela City)

actor, dramaturge and director at the Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala City

UNAM, founding member

of ‘teatro vivo de Guatemala’ Actor in:

‘Ixoc’, El mundo de los burros ‘,’ Tierra ‘

tours in Latin America, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria


Rigoberta Menchú

(born January 9, 1959 in Chimel/Guatemala)

Guatemalan human rights activist. In 1992 she was the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1979 Rigoberta joined the CUC (Committee of the Peasant Union). She became increasingly involved in the CUC, organized a strike for better working conditions for agricultural workers and, on May 1, 1981, large demonstrations in the capital. She also joined the radical Popular Front of January 31. There she taught the peasants to resist the military dictatorial repression. She later had to go into hiding in Guatemala and eventually fled to Mexico. From abroad she also vigorously advocated the rights of indigenous peoples and against the oppression in Guatemala. In 1982 she co-founded the united opposition parties, and today she advocates greater political representation of indigenous peoples in Guatemala. In 1990 she received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education


Erick Barrondo (born 1991)

walker. Erick Bernabé Barrondo García was born in 1991 in Aldea Chuyuc, San Cristóbal Verapaz and started his sporting career as a long-distance runner. After an injury, he reoriented himself and became a walker – in his homeland he is celebrated as a hero. At the 2012 Olympics, he won the first ever silver medal for Guatemala; he won on a 20-kilometer route. He had previously shone gold at the Pan American Games in 2011.

Jamy Franco (born 1991)

walker. Jamy Amarilis Franco Núñez was born in 1991 in Santa Rosa as the daughter of an athlete (Olympic walker). At the age of 14, she won the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Canada over a distance of 10,000 meters. She also won gold in 2011 at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara on 20 kilometers in a time of 1:32:38 hours. She is 1.70 meters tall and a very promising talent.

Marco Pappa (born 1987)

soccer player and member of the national team of Guatemala. Marco Pablo Pappa Ponce was born in Guatemala City in 1987 and joined a football club there at the age of 16 (CSD Municipal). He slowly made his way up to a professional as a midfielder and soon kicked off in the Liga Nacional de Guatemala. The move to Chicago followed. In 2009 he impressed with a goal against the Red Bulls from New York. Pappa has been playing for the Dutch club SC Heerenveen since 2012.

Mynor Ramírez (born 1972)

wrestler. Mynor Ramírez Fuentes competed in both the Atlanta (1996) and Barcelona (1992) Olympics but failed to make it into the top ten. However, Ramírez secured first place several times at the Central American & Caribbean Championships in San Salvador. His discipline was paper weight in Greco-Roman and free style. The wrestler also won medals at the Pan-American competitions during his playing days.

Pedro Yang (born 1976)

badminton player. Pedro Alejandro Yang Ruiz was born in Guatemala in 1976. Since 1999 he has been among the top three winners in singles and doubles, among others at the Pan American Games, the Central America and Caribbean Games and Puerto Rico International. In 2004 he entered the Olympic Games, but dropped out. He is currently living and pursuing his sporting career in Denmark.

Elizabeth Zamora (born 1993)

Taekwondo fighter. Elizabeth Zamora Gordillo started the sport at an early age, so that she already won silver at the Junior Pan American Championship taking place in San Salvador (class up to 49 kilograms). In 2012 she took part in the Olympic Games in London, but just missed third place. So far she has participated in over 20 fights and a win rate of almost 60 percent.

Guatemala: animals



The agoutis (Dasyprocta) are a genus of rodents from the family of the agoutis and acouchis (Dasyproctidae). They have slender bodies and a thick and coarse coat that is usually dark orange or brownish in color.

They live in forests, dense bushland and savannahs, but also in fields and plantations. They are usually diurnal.

Their underside is white or yellowish. The animals reach a head-trunk length of 40 to 65 cm – with a weight between 1.5 to 4 kg.

As pure herbivores, agoutis feed on fruits, nuts and leaves. Stems or roots. In the Amazon region, they are almost the only animals that can open hard Brazil nuts with their teeth.

A distinction is made between eleven types of agoutis, with only the Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) occurring in Guatemala:


Of the anteaters from the suborder Vermilingua there are four different species from three different genera..

Their long, tubular snout is striking. They also have a thick coat and very strong claws on their front feet.

The different species reach a length between 20 to 140 cm – with a weight between 300 g and up to 50 kg for the great anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

The great anteater is exclusively a ground dweller and lives in savannah areas, while the pygmy anteater only lives on trees. The other two species live both on the ground and in trees.

They feed almost exclusively on ants and termites, which is where their name comes from. The animals mostly live as solitary animals in their own territories.

The females only give birth to one young at a time.

Howler monkeys

The howler monkeys (Alouatta) are a genus from the family of the spotted monkeys (Atelidae), which is found in Central and South America. There are a total of twelve different species of the genus Alouatta.

They got their name because of their loud screaming, which they utter mostly early in the morning.

Howler monkeys, with a head-trunk length of 60 to 90 cm, are among the largest monkeys on the American continent after the spider monkeys. Their tail is roughly the same length as their body.

Their weight is between 4 and 10 kg, with the males being noticeably larger and heavier than the females. Their coat color ranges from yellow-brown to red to black,

The animals are pure herbivores that feed mainly on leaves and less often on fruits and flowers.


Sloths can be divided into two-toed and three-toed sloths. But what both have in common is that they spend up to 18 hours hanging upside down in a tree asleep. They feed mainly on leaves.

Only the three-toed sloth occurs in Guatemala.

A detailed description of the two-toed sloth can be found here >>>


Jaguars are the largest big cats on the American continent.

But since they are still hunted for their beautiful fur and their habitat is getting smaller and smaller, their population is endangered.

You can find a detailed, illustrated description of the animal here >>>

Long-tailed cat

The long-tailed cat (Leopardus wiedii) is also known as Margay, Bergozelot or Baumozelot.

The animal belongs to the family of cats (Felidae).

With a head-trunk length between 45 and 80 cm and a tail with a length between 35 and 50 cm, the animal is slightly smaller than an ocelot.

Its weight fluctuates between 2.5 and 4 kg. The cat’s fur is yellow-brown with dark, ring-shaped spots arranged in stripes. Your head is short and rounded.

The long-tailed cat lives mainly in tropical and subtropical rainforests. Now and then you can find them on coffee or cocoa plantations.

Their diet consists of rodents, smaller primates, possums, squirrels and tree rodents, but also birds and their eggs, lizards and tree frogs. They also eat hares, agoutis and pakas.

The long-tailed cat is found in Central and South America – east of the Andes – from northern Mexico to Uruguay and Argentina


coati (Nasua), also referred to as trunk bears, are a genus of the family of the small bear (Procyonidae).

They got their name because of their trunk-like, elongated snout with the movable nose.

Their head-torso lengths range from 45 to 70 cm, while their yellow and brown banded tail are between 40 and 70 cm long. Your shoulder height is about 30 cm. Their weight is between 3.5 to 6 kg.

While their front legs are rather short, the hind legs are rather long. Usually the males are larger than the females.

The coat of the Nelson coati is short and silky. In the two other types, the hair is longer and rather coarse.

The color of the back ranges from a light brown to reddish and even black. On the abdomen, their coloration ranges from yellowish to dark brown, with the muzzle, chin and throat usually being whitish, while the feet are black.

With their snouts, they search the ground, crevices and cavities for food, which consists mainly of fruit. But neither do they disdain invertebrates and even larger rodents.

There are three types of

coati: – South American coati (Nasua nasua) – from Colombia to northern Argentina and Uruguay.

– White-nosed coati (Nasua narica) – from Arizona to the Gulf of Urabá in northwestern Colombia.

– Nelson’s coati (Nasua nelsoni) – on the island of Cozumel.


The peccaries or peccaries belong to the family of the Tayassuidae. Its four species belong to three different genera.

– Bisampekari, Weißbartpekari (Tayassu pecari)

The Bisampekari or Weißbartpekari has a head-trunk length between 80 to 110 cm, a shoulder height between 45 to 60 cm – with a weight of 20 to 50 kg. Males and females are about the same size.

The animals can be found from southern Mexico via Central America and the northeast of South America to Argentina.

– Chaco peccary (Catagonus wagneri)

The Chaco peccary does not occur in Guatemala. It lives in the thorny dry forests and savannah areas of the Gran Chaco in southeastern Bolivia, Paraguay and in northern Argentina.

– Collar pekari (Pecari tajacu)

The 14-30 kg collar peccary has a body length of 75 to 100 cm, a shoulder height of 40 to 60 cm and a tail length of 1 to 5 cm. Males and females are about the same size.

Their distribution area extends from the southwest USA (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas) over Central and Central America, up to the Río de la Plata in Argentina. The animals can also be found in Trinidad.

Its habitats are primeval forests, savannas, grass steppes and semi-deserts, but they can also be found in the higher foothills of the Andes. The animals prefer steep river valleys and thickets

– Giant pekari (Pecari maximus)

The giant peccary is only found in Brazil. With a length of up to 1.40 m and a weight of around 40 kg, it is the largest of the peccaries.

Tapir e

The Central American tapir (Tapirus bairdii) living in Guatemala has a head-trunk length of around 200 cm, a body height of up to 120 cm and a weight of 150 to 300 kg.

The animal lives both in the lowlands and at heights up to about 3,600 m. They are loners and feed mainly on leaves, fruits, twigs and other parts of plants.

Their existence is considered threatened, which is particularly due to the destruction of their habitats.

There are five species of the genus Tapir (Tapirus), with the lowland, mountain and Kabomani tapir occurring in South America. The Central American tapir can be found in Central America – and here in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.

The black-backed tapir, on the other hand, is only found in Southeast Asia:

– Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)

– Mountain

tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) – Kabomani tapir (Tapirus kabomani)

– Central American tapir (Tapirus bairdii)

– Black-backed tapir (Tapirus indicus)


The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a species of predator from the family of cats (Felidae) and the genus of the leopard cats (Leopardus).

The basic color of the fur on the upper side varies from greyish to yellowish-brown to orange, whereby the residents of rainforests are more orange or ocher, while the animals of the dry regions are mostly gray. The underside of the animals is usually whitish in color. For this purpose, it is covered with black, strip-shaped, ring-like or rosette-like spots. The inside of the spots is a little darker than the basic color of the fur. Their head-body length varies from 55 to 100 cm – with a tail length between 30 to 45 cm. Their weight is between 11 and 16 kg.

They are nocturnal loners and feed on quill rats, New World mice and tree prickers, opossums, cottontail rabbits, but also coatis, howler monkeys, sloths, tamanduas and pintail deer. But also birds, reptiles such as iguanas, turtles or snakes, amphibians and fish are on their menu.

You can find the cats from the southern USA to northern Argentina. The ocelot can also be found on the island of Trinidad.

A detailed description of the ocelot can be found here >>>

Roe deer and red deer Roe deer and red deer

can be found in Guatemala.

A detailed description of the animals can be found at Goruma under deer and red deer


manatees The genus of the round-tailed manatees (Trichechus) is called manatee in Guatemala. They are aquatic mammals. The skin of the animals is gray or brown in color and up to 5 cm thick. Her body is covered in short, brush-like hair.

They reach a head-torso length of 2.5 to 4.5 m – with a weight of up to 500 kg. There are three species of the genus Trichechus, of which the Caribbean manatee (Trichechus manatus) occurs in Guatemala:

– Caribbean manatee (Trichechus manatus)

– Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

– African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis)

Wild boars

The wild boars here are relatively similar to those living in Europe.

You can find a detailed description of the wild boar at Goruma here >>>

Reptiles and amphibians without venomous snakes

Green iguana

The green iguana (Iguana iguana) belongs to the iguanas family (Iguanidae) and to the genus Iguana. The animals reach a head-trunk length up to about 50 cm, together with the tail it becomes about 2 m long.

Despite its name, the animal is not completely green, but rather grayish-green or has a strong brown influence.

The diurnal animal lives mainly in trees, but is also a good swimmer. Its diet is purely vegetarian and consists mainly of leaves.

Its meat The meat is offered as “green chicken” because it is reminiscent of chicken. A well-known dish is sopa de garrobo.


The crocodiles (Crocodylia) are an order that is divided into the following three families:

– Real crocodiles (Crocodylidae)

– Alligators (Alligatoridae)

– Gavials (Gavialidae)

These three families are divided into 9 genera with a total of 25 species.

The local crocodiles are nowhere near as large as, for example, the Australian saltwater crocodiles (estuarine crocodiles) or the Nile crocodiles. Nevertheless, one should keep a suitable distance from them and under no circumstances bathe in the rivers.

You can find a description of numerous crocodile species at Goruma here >>>


The caimans (Caimaninae) are a subfamily of the family of alligators (Alligatoridae).

Caimans occur only in South America, with the exception of the crocodile caiman, whose range extends as far as Central America.

Since caimans have a slower metabolism than the real crocodiles, they get considerably older than them at 100 years.

Their preferred habitat are lakes, swamps and rivers.

The local crocodile caiman reaches a maximum length of 3 m and has four subspecies.


turtles Sea turtles are found on the country’s coastal beaches. With the exception of laying eggs on sandy beaches, they spend their entire lives in the water.

However, as lung breathers, they have to come to the surface of the water regularly to breathe, which may only be necessary after 7 hours when sleeping and after 40 minutes at the latest when doing activities. Their diet consists of cephalopods, crustaceans and jellyfish, but also plants.

Your front legs serve as paddles for photo movement, while the rear legs serve as a kind of rudder.

The salt glands on the head ensure that they can excrete the salt absorbed with the seawater.

All are distinguished by an armor-like back shield and a toothless jaw.

-Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

– Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

– Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)

– Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

This sea turtle has two subspecies.

The breeding process is not carried out by the animals but by the sun.

It is very interesting that at temperatures above 29.9 degrees Celsius, the eggs develop into females and below that males.


-eyed tree frog The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is the best known representative of the red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis) of the griffin frog family (Phyllomedusinae).

Idol snake

The idol snake (Boa constrictor) reaches sizes between 3 and 4 m and feeds on smaller and larger mammals as well as on birds and reptiles.

The prey is embraced and strangled by contracting the muscles.

The snake can be found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Amapá, Pará, Rondonia, Bahia, Sergipe, Amazonas, Pará, Pernambuco, Federal District, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Piauí, Mato Grosso, Goiás, S Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte)

in Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia (Valle del Cauca).

Also in Mexico (Yucatan, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Quéretaro, Veracruz, Puebla, Jalisco, Morelos and Hidalgo), in Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay.

The snake is also at home in Peru (Pasco), Suriname and Venezuela (Merida, Isla Margarita), as well as in Florida/USA – where it was released.

They can also be found in Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique, Aruba and Antigua.

You can find a detailed description of the snake here >>>

Green rat snake

The green rat snake (Senticolis triaspis) can be found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

in the southeast of Mexico (East Sonora, Nuevo León, West Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Morelos, Oaxaca, Aguascalientes, Tamaulipas, Quéretaro, Guanajuato), in Nicaragua

as well as in the USA (southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico)

The snake has three subspecies:

Striped pine snake

The striped pine snake (Pituophis lineaticollis) is found in Guatemala and in the southeast of Mexico (Michoacán, Jalisco).

There are two subspecies of the snake:

– Pituophis lineaticollis gibsoni

– Pituophis lineaticollis lineaticollis

Venomous snakes – coral snakes

This usually very pretty snake of the genus Micrurus (coral snake, coral otter) with its black and white or yellow and red rings occurs in 79 species with various subspecies.

They can be found in the southern states of the USA via Mexico, Central America and almost all of South America – with the exception of Chile. Often, however, not nationwide but only in parts of the country or even in smaller regions.

They live mainly in moist, warm habitats and are between 60 to 150 cm long. Their head is barely wider than the trunk and their tail is short. They have The nocturnal snakes usually live hidden in holes in the ground, between dense vegetation or under stones and feed on small reptiles – more rarely on small mammals, amphibians, and young birds.

Bites are extremely rare in humans. They have a very effective neurotoxin, which interrupts the connection between nerves and between nerves and muscles (synapses).

In addition, numerous species have poison components that destroy muscle tissue (myotoxins). Without an antiserum, paralysis and even fatal respiratory arrest can be expected.

Broad-ringed coral snake

The broad-ringed coral snake (Micrurus latifasciatis) is found in Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas) as well as in western Guatemala.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Brown`s Coral Snake

The Brown`s Coral Snake (Micrurus browni) is ringed in red and provided with yellow-black rings.

The snake occurs in southwest Mexico and there in Jaslisco, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Quintana.

Also in the west of Guatemala and in Honduras. There are three subspecies of the snake.

Diastema coral snake

The diastema coral snake (Micrurus diastema) occurs in the south of Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Chiapas) as well as in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras up to an altitude of around 1,700 m.

The snake has seven subspecies.

Elegant coral snake

The elegant coral snake (Micrurus elegans) can be found in Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas) as well as in Guatemala.

There are two subspecies of the snake.


Coral Snake The Mayan Coral Snake (Micrurus hippocrepis) is found in Belize and Guatemala

. There are no subspecies of the snake.

Black-banded coral snake

The black-banded coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus) – also known as the Central American coral snake – lives in Mexico in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Yucatan).

They can also be found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

There are seven subspecies of the snake:

Stuart`s Coral Snake

The Stuart`s Coral Snake (Micrurus stuarti) occurs only in Guatemala.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Venomous snakes – lance vipers

The genus of lance vipers (Bothrops) belongs to the subfamily of pit vipers (Ctotalinae) and to the family of vipers (Viperidae). The genus of the lance viper comprises 45 species of snakes, some of which in turn have subspecies.

The smallest species or subspecies reach a length between 50 to 70 cm and the largest can be over 2 m long.

Their poison has tissue-destroying parts (proteases), blood-damaging and kidney-damaging parts.

It is worth mentioning that the enzyme reptilase in the venom of Bothrops atrox and Bothrops jararaca is used in diagnostics to determine coagulation disorders and as a therapeutic agent for anticoagulation.

The animals are viviparous. They get their name from their triangular head shape, which is reminiscent of a lance tip.

Rough-scaled lance viper

The rough-scaled lance viper (Bothrops asper) – also known as Terciopela lance viper – is found in southern Mexico and in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Colombia (Valle del Cauca), in western Ecuador and in Venezuela . There are no subspecies of the snake.

Venomous snakes – palm lance snakes

The palm lance vipers belong to the genus Bothriechis, to the subfamily of pit vipers (Crotalinae) and to the family of vipers (Viperidae).

The species of this snake genus have a length of about 60 to 80 cm – very rarely they reach a length of 1 m.

The palm lance vipers live exclusively in the trees of the tropical rainforest and are well adapted to the way of life in trees thanks to their long tail, which is optimized for grasping. Like all pit otters, they have pit organs on the sides of their heads between the nostrils and eyes, with which they can perceive thermal radiation (infrared radiation), which makes them good night hunters.

Their basic color is usually green to greenish-yellow with light and dark speckles, whereby the very color-variable prehensile-tailed lance-viper is an exception.

Yellow-spotted palm-lance viper

The yellow-spotted palm-lance viper, also known as the Guatemala palm-lance viper (Bothriechis aurifer), is found in Guatemala and Mexico (Chiapas).

There are no subspecies of the snake

Griffin-tailed palm-lance viper

The Griffin-tailed palm-lance viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) occurs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico,

Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Guatemala palm lance viper

The Guatemala palm lance viper (Bothriechis aurifer) occurs in Guatemala and Chiapas in Mexico.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Sea-blue palm-lance viper

The sea-blue palm-lance viper (Bothriechis thalassinus) occurs in Guatemala and Honduras.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Two-colored palm lance viper

The two-colored palm lance viper (Bothriechis bicolor) occurs in Guatemala, Mexico (Chiapas) and Honduras.

There are no subspecies of the snake

More venomous snakes

Ore Spitznatter

The Ore Spitznatter (Oxybelis aeneus) has a large distribution area:

Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Amazon, Federal District, Minas Gerais, Rondonia, Roraima, Pará, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Ceará, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco).

Also in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Isla Margarita, Colombia in the Valle del Cauca, Mexico (Chiapas, Morelos, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Aguascalientes, Tamaulipas, Campeche, Quéretaro, Jalisco, Sonora, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Nuevo León, Chihuahua), Nicaragua with Corn Island, Panama, Peru (Ancash), Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

It is also found in the US state of Arizona and Venezuela (Mérida, Esqueda, La Marca).

Although their venom is less potent and produces unpleasant local symptoms such as swelling, edema and pain, as well as lymphangitis and lymph node swelling, it should nevertheless be taken seriously.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Glossy Vine Snake

The gloss Vine Snake (Oxybelis fulgidus) reaches a Grööße over 1.80 m. You can find them in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará), Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras,

Colombia, Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Campeche), Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname as well as Venezuela and Tobago.

Their poison is less strong and causes unpleasant local symptoms such as swelling, edema and pain as well as lymphangitis and lymph node swelling, but should still be taken seriously.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Godman’s mountain pit viper

The Godman’s mountain pit viper (Cerrophidion godmani) is found in Guatemala and in the southwest of Brazil

. There are no subspecies of the snake.

Guatemala Jumping Pit

Viper The Guatemala Jumping Pit Viper (Atropoides occiduus) is found in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico (Chiapas).

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Mexican moccasin snake

The Mexican moccasin snake (Agkistrodon russeolus) belongs to the family of the vipers (Viperidae), to the sub-family of the pit vipers Crotalinae and to the genus of the triangular-headed adder (Agkistrodon).

There are no subspecies of the snake species.

It occurs in Mexico and there in Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, as well as in Belize and Guatemala.

Olmecan pit viper viper

The Olmecan pit viper (Atropoides olmec) is found in Guatemala and Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca and in southern Veracruz in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas)

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Rainforest inverted-nosed viper

The rainforest inverted-nosed viper (Porthidium nasutum) is found in Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, in Mexico (Chiapas, VeraCruz, Yucatan) as well as in Nicaragua and Panama.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Western inverted-

nosed viper The western inverted-nosed viper (Porthidium ophryomega) is found in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua as well as in Mexico (Chiapas)

There are no subspecies of the snake.


Mexican moccasin snake The Mexican moccasin snake (Agkistrodon bilineatus) belongs to the family of the vipers (Viperidae), to the subfamily of the pit vipers Crotalinae and to the genus of the triangular-headed adder (Agkistrodon).

It occurs in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

There are no subspecies of the snake species

Central American rattlesnake

The Central American rattlesnake Crotalus simus) is found in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, in the south of Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche) and in Nicaragua.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Central American jumping

pit viper The Central American jumping pit viper (Atropoides mexicanus) is found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, in the south of Mexico (Chiapas, Querétaro) as well as in Nicaragua and Panama.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Other poisonous animals


There are several types of scorpions that should not be underestimated as their venom.

Poison dart frogs

The poison dart frogs with their bright warning colors are nice to look at, but they are very poisonous.

Therefore one should keep a distance from them and under no circumstances touch or catch them.

Black widow

In Guatemala one finds the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans). The spider can also be found in the southern New England states to Florida and in the west to the east of Oklahoma as well as in Texas and Kansas as well as Hawaii.

It lives mainly in dry, steppe-like areas near the ground and there between stones and scrub – it is only rarely found in human settlements.

The black widow is a species of spider whose bite should not be underestimated. Your bite is often not noticed immediately because it can usually be felt like a pinprick.

But the neurotoxin (nerve poison) injected by the spider begins after half an hour at the earliest with involuntary neuromuscular jerks, which lead to cramp-like abdominal pain and after one to three hours to increasing muscle pain, which if left untreated can last for days.

Local swelling and reddening appear on the bite wound.


In Guatemala there are around 700 different bird species, so only a very subjective selection of them is mentioned here.


The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala and is also considered the most popular local bird. It can be found in the country’s cloud forests. Unfortunately, the bird, worshiped as sacred by the indigenous population, has become very rare.

Other birds worth mentioning in the country are:

– Eagles

– Macaws

– Owls

– Falcons

– Various species of vulture, such as the turkey vulture, king vulture or the black vulture

– Motmot

– Pavo de Chaco

– Sparrowhawk

– Tucan

– Turkey


There are said to be around 220,000 species of insects and spiders in the country.

These include butterflies that please the eye, bees, wasps, flies and ants.

But among the local insects there are also dangerous ones, which are either very poisonous, like the black widow or which can transmit diseases:

– mosquitoes

– Mosquitoes (transmission of malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis)

– Sand flies (including carriers of leishmaniasis)

– Tarantula

sea animals

In the two oceans that the country borders, one can find sharks – including the peaceful and up to 18 m long whale shark, whales, turtles, sea snakes and also a large number of coral fish and numerous other fish species.

The coast to the Caribbean is around 140 km and that to the Pacific around 260 km.

Among the sea snakes in the Pacific one can find the very poisonous platelet sea snake (Pelamis platura).

Guatemala: plants

General preliminary remark

Not least because of the tropical rainforest and its two seas, Guatemala is blessed with a remarkable biodiversity – especially in the rainforest and cloud forest.

About 35% of the country is covered with primary or secondary forest.

Especially around the Atitlán lake and in the water-rich valleys a large number of different plants the plants. The most common tree species are the coastal mangroves, coconut palms, trumpet trees and the kapok tree. Precious woods such as mahogany. Balsa and teak trees also grow in the tropical forests of Guatemala. Fruit, cocoa and coffee plants dominate the plantations. Numerous species of bromeliads, orchids, mosses and ferns can also be found in Guatemala

It is noteworthy that trees in lowland rainforest are considerably taller than, for example, the trees in Europe.

In contrast, the volcanic basin landscape in the central highlands and the pine-dominated savannah near the Pacific are particularly species-poor. Here mostly only thorn bushes and succulents grow on the rocks.


There are around 450 different tree species in Guatemala, including:

– Balsa – Breadnut

Ceiba, the national tree of Guatemala

– Oaks – Calabash trees

(Crescentia cujete)

– Royal palms – Copal



– Mahogany – Mangroves

– Palisade trees –

Peruvian pepper tree

– Pines

– Imperial pink/pink china

– Tabebuja

– Tamarind (Samanea saman) – Teak


– Trumpet


– Tulip trees – Zapote (Manilkara)

– Cypress trees


In Guatemala there are more than 80 different types of orchids, most of them are epiphytes – epiphytes on large trees as well as bromeliads (pineapple family) of which 65 types are native to Guatemala:

The white vanilla, Monja blanca is the national flower of Guatemala.

A very popular type of flower in Europe is the bougainvillea, which was brought to Europe by the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811) after he sailed around the world in 1766/69.


The following crops grow in Guatemala:

– Avocado

– Bananas

– Cashew nuts

– Coffee

– Cocoa

– Cardamom

– Mamey

– Mango

– Passion fruit trees

– Orange trees

– Vanilla

Guatemala Politics