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Zacapa

Zacapa is a department located on the Northeast side of Guatemala known as "Oriente" which means East. It is approximately 70 miles or 112 kilometers from Guatemala City. On the Northern Border of Zacapa lies the departments of Alta Verapaz and Izabal; to the East lies the Border of the Republic of Honduras; it borders the southern departments of Chiquimula and Jalapa and to the West the department of El Progreso.Zacapa was created by decree number 31 of the Executive, on November 10, 1871. Historian and poet, Capitán Don Francisco Antonio De Fuentes Y Guzmán notes in his Remembrance Florida, the name Zacapa derives from Nahuatl Zacatl meaning grass or weed, and apan meaning in the river, a word which in turn is composed of atl also meaning water, river, and apan. Zacapa means on the river of grass or grass. The Northern half of the department is mountainous, which is crossed from west, to east by the Sierra de las Minas. On the Southern part of the department all sides are covered by small chains of mountains and isolated hills that are separated by fairly deep ravines, while the riverbed of the Motagua River forms the central part. The river forms a huge valley and depending on the topographic configuration, narrows or widens, giving rise to very fertile valleys and large plains like the plains of La Fragua. This is a benefit to the department and helps in the harvest of products such as sugar cane, tomatoes, good quality tobacco, and other plants.The majority of the department's population is of European origins, mainly from Spain, Italy, France, and Germany and to a lesser extent, England and Sweden (Roughly 96.7%). The second largest ethnic group is the mestizo and account for approximately three percent of the population and population and less than one percent is of indigenous races. Zacapa is one of the departments with the lowest proportion of Indigenous people. Zacapa is also the department with the highest literacy rate in the country.
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