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IMCos Guatemala UFM Map Division Universidad Francisco Marroquín

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   Afternoon Activities / Relief Map

This open air, scale model of the country of Guatemala was built in 1904 by the Guatemalan engineer Francisco Vela and covers 19,375 square feet (1,800 sq. meters). Its dimensions make it unique in the world. To design his map, Vela travelled the country on foot and horseback to make the calculations of the country's features and geography. This is map making par excellence!

Next door to the map is a small forest of hormigo trees (Platymicium dimorphandrum), the wood used to craft marimbas, the national musical instrument. The marimba is pitched an octave lower than its cousin the xylophone. It is played by four to ten musicians at a time and its mellow and rhythmic beat accompanies many fiestas.