More information about Guatemala is available on the Guatemala Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Guatemala in 1849 following its independence from Spain and the later dissolution of a federation of Central American states. In 1954, the United States assisted in the overthrow of the Guatemalan government due to concerns about the threat of communism. A new government took power in Guatemala the same year, and the United States established diplomatic relations with it. Beginning in 1960, forces carried out armed insurrection against the Guatemalan government. Peace accords ending the 36-year internal conflict were signed in 1996.
Guatemala continues to face major challenges to successful development, including poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability to economic fluctuations and natural disasters. The Guatemalan government also faces the challenges of corruption and the presence of transnational organized crime.
U.S. policy objectives in Guatemala include:
U.S. Assistance to Guatemala
U.S. assistance focuses on improving citizen security and justice, increasing levels of economic growth and social development in the Western Highlands, fostering sustainable management of natural resources, and mitigating the effects of global climate change.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is one of Guatemala's largest trading partners. The two countries are parties to the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which aims to facilitate trade and investment and further regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. CAFTA-DR contains a chapter on investment similar to a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. U.S. exports to Guatemala include oil, agricultural products, articles donated for relief and low-value shipments, and machinery. U.S. imports from Guatemala include agricultural products, apparel, gold, and silver.
Guatemala's Membership in International Organizations
Guatemala and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Guatemala maintains an embassy in the United States at 2220 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-745-4952).
More information about Guatemala is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Guatemala Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Guatemala Page
U.S. Embassy: Guatemala
USAID Guatemala Page
History of U.S. Relations With Guatemala
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information