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.
Fig. 1. Administration building at UFM
Fig. 2. Landscaping outside the campus library.
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.