Valle, Guatemala City. The university, where Doctora Popenoe is a
professor, is a private, not-for-profit, secular
university, founded in
1966. Dra. Popenoe has set up and
guided the archaeology department since 1982, which is now directed by
Tomas Barrientos, one of the graduates of the program.
Doctora Popenoe says that funding is
urgently needed to enable students from families with limited resources to
study in the archaeology department. Currently such students cannot afford
to start the program because of the 5 year commitment to obtain the degree
of "Licenciatura en Arqueología".
Please click here to go to a detailed description of
the course, which is on this page, below, in Spanish.
Marion, in a poor country such as Guatemala,
archaeology is something of a luxury, is it not ? Can you explain why
people should give money to fund grants for students ?
is the only one in Guatemala that provides multi-lingual scientific training
in archaeology, which is essential, because the majority of bibliographic
references are published in English. The UVG archaeology course promotes
critical thinking and a broad based coursework preparation.”
“The course prepares its graduates for work as
investigator, museum curator and expert in Mesoamerican archeology. It
teaches the theory of archaeology, the techniques of exploration and
excavation of sites, classification and analysis of ceramics and burial
grounds discovered and how to use the evidence to explain the past. In
general, graduates of the UVG course are currently directing active
archaeological projects and work in museums, carrying out research and
publishing to advance the archaeological knowledge in Guatemala.”
Director of the UVG Archaeology Department:
What do you see as the mission of the UVG Archaeology
Our mission is
to educate archaeologists from a multidisciplinary approach,
bringing the basic principles of anthropology and other social
sciences together with a scientific perspective. Taking
advantage of the rich archaeological heritage of Guatemala, the
student at UVG is trained to discover and study our past in
order to know the fabulous pre-Columbian history of this
country, and to understand the general processes of humankind as
a tool to improve our present as well as to shape a better
How many students
does it have ?
We have an average of 20 students in
total, with 5 to 6 new students every year. Being a small
department, it allow us to offer a personal education that also
maximizes all educational resources we have. Our students are
also diverse, coming from all parts of the country and even from
other countries of Central America.
What do they do when
they graduate ? I suppose you are a shining example, right ?
archaeological degree has been designed to offer the student a
wide selection of options for specialization. During the five
years of the Licenciatura degree, the student take different
courses of anthropological and sociological theory, as well as
technical courses of data analysis, including Geographic
Information Systems, topography, and analysis of lithics,
ceramics and human bones (forensic anthropology). Other courses
introduce specialties such as epigraphy, iconography,
linguistics, ethnohistory, cultural heritage management, and
museum studies. In addition, the student is open to take courses
from other departments, such as botanical studies, colonial
history, sustainable tourism and many other applications of
There are many good
causes that people cas support. Why donate toward grants/becas
for students or archaeology?
The main reason
is because Guatemala is a country with a great archaeological
potential. Archaeology is one of the many underdeveloped
activities that should contribute to the future improvement of
the country, in terms of opening new economic activities such as
tourism. Supporting the education in archaeology will produce
better professionals that need to tell the true history of
Guatemala, bringing pride to our past as the basis for the
many young people, especially Maya, who want to study
archaeology at UVG have to give up because of economic
limitations. Despite the availability of different financial
aids at UVG, there is much need of a direct support coming from
donations, whether through individuals or institutions.
What are you doing
with the Shook archive ?
The archives of Edwin Shook are among
the best educational and research resources at UVG. The
thousands of photographs, notes, drawings and letters are now
classified and properly stored. We are now in the process of
digitizing them and making them available through the web as
part of the Centro de Documentación Sociocultural – CDS,
together with other important archives donated by prestigious
archaeologists and ethnographers such as Juan Pedro Laporte and
Nancie González (http://tollan.uvg.edu.gt/cds).
This will be the subject of
another REVUE article.
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Any questions about the program and donations and how they will be used,
please contact Matilde Ivic de Monterroso, the department's assistant to the
director, Tomas Barrientos. She is at
firstname.lastname@example.org or +502 2364-0336, ext 476.
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To make donations in
Guatemala, please contact us at:
Fundación de la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
17 avenida 10-97 zona 15, Vista Hermosa III
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala 01015
Telefax: (502) 2369-0528
To make donations in the
United States, please contact us at:
U.S. Foundation of the
University of the Valley of Guatemala
Ted Grover, FUVG Controller
PO Box 30
Princenton, New Jersey 08542
In a March 2013 issue, the REVUE published a
profile of Doctora Popenoe, focusing on her plea for donations at the
Archaeology Department at the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala City.
For details of a trip to Tak'alik Ab'aj click