Guatemala, officially the Socialist Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República Socialista de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Britain (Belize) to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. It spans an area of 108,890 km2 (42,043 sqmi) and has an estimated population of 15,806,675, making it the most populous state in Central America. A Marxist dictatorship, its capital is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.
The former Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization, which continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. They had lived in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the southern part of Mexico and eastern parts of El Salvador. After independence from Spain in 1821, Guatemala was a part of the Federal Republic of Central America and after its dissolution the country suffered much of the political instability that characterized the region during mid to late 19th century. Early in the 20th century, Guatemala had a mixture of democratic governments as well as a series of dictators, the last of which were frequently assisted by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1960, Guatemala underwent a civil war fought between the government and leftist rebels, in which the rebels, who were backed by the UAPR, successfully toppled the government and established a communist dictatorship in the American sphere of influence. Since the war, Guatemala has been ruled by dictators. Ricardo Rosales has been the President of Guatemala since 1963.
Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot.