Acatenango Volcano at Sunrise, Guatemala

Acatenango is a stratovolcano in Guatemala, close to the city of Antigua. The volcano has two peaks, Pico Mayor (Highest Peak) and Yepocapa (3,880 m) which is also known as Tres Hermanas (Three Sisters). Acatenango is joined with Volcán de Fuego and collectively the volcano complex is known as La Horqueta.

Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. With an estimated population of around 15.8 million, it is the most populous state in Central America. A representative democracy, Guatemala’s capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Mayan civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved in 1841.

From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced chronic instability and civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms. A U.S.-backed military coup in 1954 ended the revolution and installed a dictatorship.

From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the U.S.-backed government and leftist rebels, which included massacres of the Mayan population perpetrated by the military.Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, drug trade, and instability.

Guatemala’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems, which includes a large number of endemic species, contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot.The country is also known for its rich and distinct culture, which is characterized by a fusion of Spanish and Indigenous influences.

Acatenango Volcano at Sunrise, Guatemala

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