A country of northern Central America. The site of a Mayan civilization dating back to 1500 B.C., the area was conquered by Spain in 1524. After independence was achieved (1821), Guatemala joined in a federation of Central American states (1825-1838) before becoming a separate republic in 1839. Guatemala is the capital and the largest city. Population: 12,700,000.
also Guatemala City The capital and largest city of Guatemala, in the south-central part of the country. Founded on its present site in 1776, it was rebuilt after major earthquakes in 1917 and 1918. Population: 942,000.