Guatemala is the center of the Maya World.
This ancient civilization was the most advanced in pre-Colombian
America. The Maya people had a broad knowledge of astronomy,
mathematics, medicine, agriculture, and architecture. They
developed an accurate calendar and an extensive writing system
utilizing hieroglyphs. The culture spanned 2000+ years, from
at least 600 BC to the Spanish conquest. The heyday of the
Maya Culture is considered the Classic period 350 to 800/900AD.
In the first millennium of our time, Guatemala
held the highlight of the ancient Maya civilization. In 1523,
the Spaniard Pedro de Alvarado began the conquest of the territory.
With the conquest and destruction of the Quiché and
Kakchiquel kingdoms in 1524, the Colonial Period began. During
that time, Guatemala experienced a remarkable cultural development
that few places in the continent had. In 1821, Guatemala and
Central America declared their independence from Spain. In
January 1822, the country was annexed to Mexico. Finally,
it regained its independence on the first of July 1823, and
on the 21st. of March 1847, the Republic was officially proclaimed,
separating itself from the rest of Central America, status
that continues now. From 1985, Guatemala has begun a new process
in its history, directed to peace and democracy.