Universidad Francisco Marroquin

My visit to Guatemala was at the invitation of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, a small (ca. 3000 students) private university, founded in 1971,  that is known as “The Harvard of Guatemala” because of its quality and selectivity.  The University is dedicated to libertarian principles, and although it has no science departments, it teaches architecture, economics, medicine, philosophy, and the like.  The campus is gorgeous, set in a landscaped ravine in the otherwise grim Guatemala City; I put some photos below. On campus are two of the best museums in Guatemala, the Ixel Museum of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing, and the Popol Vuh Archaeological Museum (posts on these later).

After staking me to a swell ten-day vacation around the country (posts on that forthcoming), I gave two talks, one of which drew 600 people when 150 were expected, requiring overflow into other rooms and video transmission.  I also engaged in a discussion with some of the faculty, mostly about the relationship between science and religion (the tenor of the discussion, while amiable, was often contentious, as several ex-priests and Jesuits were there).  My other duties included a panel discussion on an English-language t.v. show, “Guatemala today,” and interviews with the local newspaper and the campus website.  If you want the description of my visit in Spanish, you can see it here, and lots of photos of my visit are here.

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Fig. 1.  Administration building at UFM

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Fig. 2.   Landscaping outside the campus library.

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Fig. 3, Giancarlo Ibárgüen, president of UFM

Many thanks to Lissa Hanckel, Olga Hazard, Luis Figueroa, Grete Pasch, Patty Heinemann, and Giancarlo Ibárgüen for their help and hospitality.

8 Comments

  1. Posted October 19, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Wow, there is a god.

    Well, a good landscaper, wonderful climate. In truth, god (or the Designer) seems never to quite get anything right.

    Glen Davidson

    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. Posted October 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    There’s some Chac pareidolia going on in that waterfall.

  3. KP
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Link to the article en espanol went to an error. Typing “Jerry Coyne” in the Buscar (search) box turned it up, though.

  4. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The swimming pool looks a little murky. It may be time to change the filter.

  5. NewEnglandBob
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful campus. Did you give your talks in English or in Spanish?

  6. B166ER
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Amazing! That campus is beautiful! While sad that they have no science dept., those students are very lucky to be there every school day. I hope you enjoyed yourself on the trip, Jerry, and its good to see that you’re home safe and ready to blog more…

    No Gods, No Masters
    Cameron

  7. condottiero
    Posted October 20, 2009 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    I am very happy you enjoyed your visit to Guatemala. I am a MA student at UFM and have read both your books and many others on evolution. Thanks for writing those books; they are pretty good, but I’m sure you know that!
    ;)

    Sadly, I couldn’t attend any of your lectures -couldn’t get an invitation to the lunch were you had the discussion with the catholic guys(sorry for this)- and wasn’t able to go to the conference.

    I had some good questions for you on tons of things (we don’t get to see guys like you every day); anyways, I really wanted to ask you some things on genetic drifts in humans and on geographic speciation.

    I hope I’ll get to discuss this with you in the near future.

    Thanks for visiting us!

  8. KP
    Posted October 20, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Way off topic but pertinent to “moral” behavior in other species: Yesterday’s NY Times had an article on learning and “moral” behavior in coral reef fish.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/science/20creature.html?hpw


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  1. [...] at UFM, Guatemala Last October, during a visit to the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, I did a videotaping with university folks as part of the program.  I’ve [...]

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