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Chixoy River

Chixoy River

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The Chixoy River or Río Negro is a river in Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

. The river is called Río Negro from its sources in the highlands of Huehuetenango
Huehuetenango (department)
Huehuetenango is one of the 22 departments of Guatemala. It is situated in the western highlands and shares borders with México in the north and west; with El Quiché in the east, with Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos to the south. The capital is the city of Huehuetenango.Huehuetenango's...

 and El Quiché until it reaches the Chixoy hydroelectric dam
Chixoy hydroelectric dam
The Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam is a reinforced concrete dam and power plant spanning the Chixoy River between the Departments of Baja Verapaz, El Quiché and Alta Verapaz, Guatemala...

 (located at 15.281536°N 90.490952°W), where the Río Salamá
Salamá River
The Salamá River is a river in Guatemala. The river is fed by a number of streams running down the slopes of the Sierra de las Minas and Sierra de Chuacús and flows in a north-westerly direction through the town of Salamá until it joins the Chixoy River....

 and Rio Carchela converge with the Río Negro. After the Chixoy dam, the river is called Río Chixoy and flows northwards, marking the departmental limits between Alta Verapaz
Alta Verapaz
Alta Verapaz is a department in the north central part of Guatemala. The capital and chief city of the department is Cobán. Verapaz is bordered to the north by El Petén, to the east by Izabal, to the south by Zacapa, El Progreso, and Baja Verapaz, and to the west by El Quiché.Also in Alta Verapaz...

 and El Quiché, until it reaches the border with Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. From there on it continues along the border for another 113 km as the Salinas river
Salinas River (Guatemala)
The Salinas is a river in Guatemala. The river is called Chixoy River from its sources in the highlands of Huehuetenango and El Quiché until it reaches the Chixoy hydroelectric dam , where the Río Salama and Rio Carchela converge with the Río Negro...

 until it finally converges with the Río la Pasión
Pasión River
The Pasión River is a river located in the northern lowlands region of Guatemala. The river is fed by a number of upstream tributaries whose sources lie in the hills of Alta Verapaz. These flow in a general northerly direction to form the Pasión, which then tends westwards to meet up with the...

 (at 16.481193°N 90.544167°W) to form the Usumacinta river which flows into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...


The Chixoy river's water discharge of 551 m3/s is Guatemala's highest. This was one of the main reasons for selecting this river for the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric dam. Guatemala's National Institute for Electricity (INDE) is planning the construction of another hydroelectric dam on the Chixoy river. The proposed location of the Xalalá hydroelectric dam
Xalalá hydroelectric dam
The Xalalá Hydroelectric Dam is a proposed dam that will span the Chixoy River at in the municipality of Ixcán in Guatemala. The US$ 400 million dam's hydroelectric power station will have an installed capacity of 181 MWe, generating an estimated 886 GWh of electricity per year.-Controversy and...

 is situated at 15.692833°N 90.786361°W. in the municipality of Ixcán
Ixcán is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of El Quiché. Its administrative centre can be found in Playa Grande. The municipality consists of 176 communities, called aldeas. It has an area of 1575 km2...

, El Quiché.

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