Guatemala is in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize. The climate is tropical. It is hot and humid in the lowlands and cooler in the highlands. The official language is Spanish. English is spoken by many Guatemalan businesspeople and top government officials, however for important business dealings visitors will need fluent Spanish or a competent interpreter. The main religions are Christianity and indigenous Mayan beliefs. The economy of Guatemala has a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. In Guatemala tourism is a significant source of income, as a result expatriates are warmly welcomed. Guatemalans place importance on personal honour. Avoid publically criticising or embarrassing anyone. Expatriate business dress is typically a suit for men, a dress or skirt and blouse for women. The security risk for expatriates in Guatemala is medium overall, but high in Guatemala City. Risks include violent and petty crime, kidnapping (including expatriates), highway robberies, and risks associated with protests which can become violent. Other risks include travel, due to the poor quality of roads and poor infrastructure, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, heavy rains and landslides. The currency of Guatemala is the Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ). While ATMs are available not all international cards are accepted. Major credit cards are accepted at some shops and restaurants. Medical facilities funded by the state are generally very poor. Serious or complex medical treatment requires evacuation which can be expensive. Cases of Zika and Chikungunya virus have been reported and Dengue fever is common. The population of Guatemala is 17.3 Million (2018 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is 4.14% for Guatemala as at March 2018. For a single Expat, the personal income tax rate in Guatemala is progressive up to 7%.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Guatemala, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Guatemala as at 1 April 2018 is low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Average 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Very Low Guatemala is for example -12% cheaper than USA for groceries, -11.5% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 47.1% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Guatemala for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Guatemala) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Guatemala is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Guatemala? Register subscribe to your home location and Guatemala and run your personalised reports.