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Guatemala seeks to attract Russian tourists to Central America - ambassador

April 08, 2014, 20:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“In general, tourists are attracted by our rich cultural heritage and a variety of nature. There are many archaeological monuments in Guatemala connected with the Mayan culture,” he says
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© EPA/SANDRA SEBASTIAN

MOSCOW, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The Republic of Guatemala will cooperate with other Central American countries to attract more tourists from Russia, ambassador to Moscow Herbert Estuardo Meneses Coronado told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

“Developing mutual ties between Russia and Guatemala will help our nations get to know each other better,” Meneses said. “That is why our country is interested in attracting Russian tourists.”

“We know that Russians are fond of travelling and have great interest in history and culture. Therefore, we want to give them a chance to learn more not only about Guatemala, but also about the whole of Central America,” he said. “At present, we are trying to establish cooperation with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Mexico to let tourists visit the beaches of these countries first and then enjoy Guatemala’s cultural heritage.”

“Guatemala has beaches, too. However, they cannot be compared with those on the Caribbean coast,” Meneses said. “There are big waves and grey sand there. They certainly differ from those in the Caribbean. In general, tourists are attracted by our rich cultural heritage and a variety of nature. There are many archaeological monuments in Guatemala connected with the Mayan culture.”

Besides, the two countries develop cooperation in studying the Mayan writing system.

“Russian scientists have made an invaluable contribution to studying the culture and the written language of Guatemala’s indigenous population,” Meneses said. “A research group headed by Galina Yershova created an ethnographic atlas of the Maya people. In 2012, a special centre was established in Guatemala, based on the Center of Mesoamerican Studies at the Russian State University for Humanities and named after Yuri Knorozov, the first Russian scientist who deciphered the Mayan hieroglyphic writing.”

The ambassador noted that the no easy security situation in Guatemala caused certain problems to developing tourism. Nevertheless, “lately the situation in the country has become much safer than in other Central American states like Honduras and El Salvador,” he added.

“Guatemala has also designed a special plan to ensure tourists’ safety,” Meneses said, adding that it would be better to travel with organised groups than alone.

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