Ceiba - national tree of Guatemala

CeibaAmong many species of trees that you can encounter in Guatemala, ceiba is most important one. In many Guatemalan towns, you will notice this strong, huge plant, dominating the neighborhood. Some peace treaties and many important decisions were signed under its spreading branches; some particular trees are still important like the biggest ceiba in Guatemala located in a little town of Palin, Escuintla, and ceiba San Francisco in Peten district. Both are several centuries old.


Ceiba is the name of a genus of many species of large trees found in tropical areas, including Mexico, Central America, South America, The Bahamas, Belize and the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Some species can grow to 70 m (230 ft) tall or more, with a straight, largely branchless trunk that culminates in a huge, spreading canopy, and buttress roots that can be taller than a grown person.

The tree figures in the mythologies of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, in particular, that of the Maya civilization, where the concept of the central world tree is often depicted as a Ceiba trunk, which connects the planes of the Underworld (Xibalba), the terrestrial realm and the skies.



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