Guatemalans living and working abroad, mainly in the United States, sent home $4.28 billion in remittances in the first 10 months of this year, the central bank said Wednesday.

That figure is greater by $275.8 million, or 6.88 percent, than the $4 billion received during the same period in 2012, according to statistics published by the Banco de Guatemala on its Web page.

Last month, Guatemalan emigrants sent $480.4 million back to the Central American country, a figure 14.11 percent higher than the $420.7 million remitted in September.

Authorities estimate that more than 1.8 million Guatemalan citizens live abroad, most of them in the United States.

Family remittances, which during 2012 amounted to $4.78 billion, exports and tourism are Guatemala's main sources of hard currency. EFE