In this charming street of American installations, you will find a wooden cottage which is a reproduction of a Guatemalan country house. It is in fact the pavilion of this very prosperous republic of which General Barillas is the president.
He is not only a head of state, but also one of the main exhibitors. At the entrance to the pavilion, the visitors, the ladies, are served the most delicious chocolate in the world. It is both flattering and gallant. Inside, one can admire the admirable and unique collection of birds and insects of M. Boucard, a Frenchman who had to travel many times from Paris to Guatemala (a misery!) to form this wonderful scientific museum. On the first floor, at the back, there is a panorama representing the animals of the country: tigers, snakes, jackals and a whole family of tapirs so rare that they have no equal, even in the British Museum in London. Mr. Mangouat prepared and installed all these animals.
On the first floor there are two large terraces, with hammocks, where one can spend the summer evenings chatting with the beautiful women of the Guatemalan colony in Paris. In a small lounge, there is a reading room, the only and first of its kind in Paris, where the visitor will find all the newspapers of Central and South America.
In the middle of each floor and in beautiful display cases, the main products of the country are on display: cocoa, coffee, sugar, wax, rubber, cochineal, and above all the woods of the region, which are of extraordinary rarity. Furniture has been built with them and is displayed in the central lounge on the second floor.
The local leather shoes are also noteworthy. The provinces that have specially sent products are those of Quesaltenango, Coban and Totonicapan. The surface area of this delightful pavilion is 500 square metres; but as it has two floors, it makes 1,000. The subsidy voted by the Guatemalan Chambers is 250,000 francs.
The architect is a Frenchman, Mr. Gridaine. Mr. Crisanto Medina, Minister of Guatemala, is the chairman of the committee.
© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889