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Guatemala Geography

    Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Honduras and Belize and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico

    Geographic coordinates: 15 30 N, 90 15 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total: 108,890 sq km
    land: 108,430 sq km
    water: 460 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Tennessee

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,687 km
    border countries: Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km

    Coastline: 400 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

    Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle

    Land use:
    arable land: 12%
    permanent crops: 5%
    permanent pastures: 24%
    forests and woodland: 54%
    other: 5% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast subject to hurricanes and other tropical storms

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; Hurricane Mitch damage

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertication, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

    Geography—note: no natural harbors on west coast

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)