Colonial economy:
Under Spanish colonial rule Guatemala was not of paramount importance as it lacked significant mineral resources; instead it was valued primarily as as source for natural dyes, specifically indigo and the red dye of the cochineal. At it's peak in the 16th century indigo alone was worth 2 million pesos annually. Value declined towards the end of the 18th century, and crashed with the onset of the production of synthetic dyes in the 1860s.

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Images retrieved from: http://dontai.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/cochineal_beetle.jpg, http://www.food-info.net/images/cochinealinsects.jpg

Posted by Shane Angell
Indigo Production and Trade in Colonial Guatemala Robert S. Smith, The Hispanic American Historical Review Vol. 39, No. 2 (May, 1959), pp. 181-211

Current economic indicators:
In 2009 Guatemala had an estimated GDP of $23.7 billion. It produced $7.2 billion in exports of coffee, bananas, sugar, crude oil, chemical products, clothing and textiles, and vegetables. In 2009 Guatemala imported $11.5 billion worth of goods such as Macheinery and equipment, minerals, fuels, vehicles and plastics. Its major suppliers include the U.S. 36%, Central American Common Market (CACM) 11.4%, Mexico 10.3% and China 5.3%. Guatemala's natural resources include oil, timber, nickel and gold.
Overall Guatemala imported $4.3 billion more than it exported in 2009.
Retrieved from: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2045.htm

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Images retrieved from: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/118185565_720f672742.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2043/2220122151_8946bec8a5.jpg

Posted by Steph McLean