Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms:
Today the quetzal has become the nation symbol of Guatemala. Images of the quetzal are everywhere, including the basic unit of currency. None the less, as a result of habitat degradation quetzals themselves are becoming increasingly scarce. The quetzal resides within the misty depths of high altitude cloud forest and is known to shy away from the prying presence of visitors. Unfortunately, as in other parts of the world, habitat loss is the main reason behind a decrease in the population of this species. Still, while sightings are rare and the bird is threatened, like many aspects of Guatemala's culture, the Quetzal is holding on.
Guatemala's national anthem was written by Rafael Alvarez Ovalle.
feliz que tus aras!
sin choque sangriento
la ruda pelea
que remonte su vuelo
Guatemala! May your altars
Never be profaned by cruel men.
May there never be slaves who submit to their yoke, Nor tyrants who deride you.
If tomorrow your sacred soil
should be threatened by foreign invasion,
your fair flag, flying freely in the wind,
will call to you: conquer or die.
Guatemala's national tree, the Ceiba, Ceiba Pentandra Gaertin, is one of the greatest trees of tropical America and is common in almost all tropical regions of America.
FYI: "Guatemala" is derived from the Aztec name Quauhtlemallan, meaning "Land of many trees."
Tecún Umán (1499? - 1524)
Quiché Tecún Umán, Guatemala's national hero faced an army of Spanish conquistadors in the battle of Pinal in 1534. According to the legend, although he didn't have armor Tecun Uman fought for his land and his people when they were about to lose their sovereignty. The brave prince gave his life in defense of his beliefs and principles when he was mortally wounded on the battlefield by Spanish conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado.