• ✔ GUATEMALA. the earth's crust bent upwards, and in unelastic places broken, and this partly or entirely beneath the ocean. The rising land as the ages passed would be acted upon not only by the ocean waves and currents, but by the torrential rains, which were of a force and frequency that even our water-spouts of the present age cannot equal. Cracks were widened, gorges were formed; and as the earth approached the present geological age, the gentler rains only supplied the rivers and lakes which now occupied the furrows ploughed deeply by primeval torrents. The rough work was done, the statue blocked out; and henceforth meteoric influences were merely to finish, add expression and polish to the work.
Guatemala | Benjamin Madeira —

A traveller crossing this territory from ocean to ocean would sometimes follow the river valleys, then climb ridges, again traverse a plain, cross a valley, ride along another mountain-ridge, compassing a volcano, and finally descend abruptly to the Pacific. His direction had not changed, but the nature of his path had been wonderfully transformed.

Geologists knew well that on one of these lines of disturbance, such as has been described, molten and disintegrated material was apt to come to the surface as lava and ashes; they expected also to find metallic veins, especially of the precious metals, and hot springs with various minerals in solution, and they infered earthquakes. All these phenomena are present in Central America in full force. Immense cones have arisen along the Pacific slope since the general features of the land were made, and not only have spread vast deposits around their base, but have blocked up valleys, forming lakes as Atitlan.

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