header Notes Collection

200 Quetzales 2009, Guatemala

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 23.08.2010
Edition: 34 303 641
Signatures: Presidenta: Maria Antonieta Del Cid de Bonilla, Gerente General: Manuel Augusto Alonzo Araujo
Serie: 2009 Serie
Specimen of: 18.02.2009
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 156 х 67
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Leipzig

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

200 Quetzales 2009




The portraits of German Alcantara, Мариано Mariano Valverde and Sebastian Hurtado - famous Guatemala musicians and composers with denomination 200 in Arab numbers and in Maya numeration.


200 Quetzales 2009

Right of center is the effigy of the outstanding Guatemalan marimbistas: Sebastián Hurtado, Mariano Valverde and German Alcántara. Behind them is music instrument Marimba (please read obverse description).

German Alcantara

German Alcantara - the most right effigy.

He was born in Guatemala on October 30, 1863, and belonged to a family of artists. He received his first lessons in music with his father, Ramón Guerre - Germán used the surname of mother, Prudencia Alcántara -.

He continued his studies with Pedro Vissoni, Vicente Andrino, Lorenzo Morales and Emilio Dressner. Her instrument was the cornet, with which she achieved a fantastic performance and from which engendered a wonderful sound, which inspired Dressner to write some pieces for that instrument, like The Loves of a Horn.

He was a longtime member of the Martial Band of Guatemala (1892-1897), of which eventually became titular director; Directed zarzuela seasons (1904-1906); He was the owner of the Antigua Guatemala Band; And during the last years of his life he was director of the National Conservatory (1907-1910).

His compositions mainly piano room pieces and some for band, are characterized by a peculiar vitality and melodic charm.

Among his works are "Desdén", "Free thought March", "Tell me that you love me", "Chrysanthemum", "My beautiful Guatemala" - a groove, whose popularity has not diminished through the decades and "The flower of Coffee" - vals, 1907 - dedicated to the poet Manuel Valle. The latter was awarded in Germany and from it appeared in the middle of the twentieth century a version entitled Captive Bird, by a Mexican composer, which led to complaints that led to the removal of the last recording.

Mariano Valverde

Mariano Valverde is in the middle.

He was born in Quetzaltenango on November 20, 1884. Son of Mariano Valverde Álvarez and Sofía Ortega.

He studied at the National Institute for Males of the West, where he received private music lessons, and later moved to the National Conservatory. He belongs to the family of musicians Javier and Simón Valverde. His younger sister was a soprano.

He integrated the marimba Hurtado Hermanos, and with this ensemble he traveled and recorded in the United States most of his repertoire, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Its catalog consists of more than 200 pieces, including Gray Hours, Last Love, Blue Waves, Laughing Weeping, Under the Trees, Always alive, Honeysuckle, Heliotrope and The City of Peaks.

Moon night among ruins of its authorship, is one of the most recognized Guatemalan musical works inside and outside the country. She has been performed in marimba, string orchestra, symphony orchestra and choral versions.

With the chromatic marimba devised by Hurtado and Paniagua, Valverde found new melodic possibilities, but given his academic formation was one of the impellers of the performance through scores and not only to the ear.

Mariano Valverde died in Guatemala City on December 26, 1956, according to Francisco Cajas and Ovando.

Sebastian Hurtado

Sebastian Hurtado - most left.

He was born in Quetzaltenango in 1827. Hurtado was one of the creators, in 1894, of the double keyboard marimba, which allows to interpret all types of melodies.

At the request of the musician Julián Paniagua, Sebastián was integrating keys and notes to the marimba, until giving him the melodic possibilities of a piano and even of orchestras, which extended the range of interpretive possibilities.

Sebastián Hurtado with his son Toribio, began to play melodies in the double marimba, which would have up to six musical scales. That was the legacy for their children and grandchildren, who would form several groups, such as Hurtado Hermanos or the Royal marimba. The latter toured the United States and Europe in 1908.

Years later, in 1915, it appeared in the Universal exhibition of San Francisco.

His nephew grandson Rocael Hurtado inherited the marimbístico talent of the family and at the age of 12 composed his first melody, Herlinda. He was professor of musical education in several establishments. Among his works are Adoration, Black Diamond, Central American and Tennis club. Of this last piece there is a recording of the decade 1960, done in the Municipal Theater of Quetzaltenango. It was necessary to repeat the melody seven times, until it went well and was executed by Rocael himself.

pattern pattern

On background, across all field of banknote are the traditional Guatemala patterns (Maya patterns).


Left of center, at the bottom, is the coat of arms of Guatemala.

The emblem of Guatemala was adopted in 1871.

The emblem was designed by Swiss artist and engraver Johan-Baptist Frener, who lived in Guatemala from 1854 until his death in 1897. The current Guatemalan emblem was created according to the Executive Decree number 33 of 18 November 1871 (Decreto No. 33 del 18 de noviembre de 1871) issued by the president General Miguel García Granados. According to the decree, "The arms of the republic will be: a shield with two rifles and two swords crossed with a wreath of laurel on a field of light blue. The middle will harbor a scroll of parchment with the words "Liberty 15 of September of 1821" in gold and in the upper part a Quetzal as the symbol of national independence and autonomy."

It should be noted, that the shield which is mentioned in the description above is never used and the emblem is therefore, without the shield, by heraldic standards, de facto no coat of arms.

The emblem of Guatemala comprises:

A wreath of bay laurel branches, the symbol for victory;

The resplendent quetzal, a bird that symbolizes liberty;

A parchment scroll on which is written LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 in gold (15 September 1821 is the date of Central America's independence from Spain);

Two crossed Remington rifles with bayonets indicating Guatemala's willingness to defend itself by force if need be;

Two crossed swords, representing honor.

The emblem also appears on the middle third of the flag of Guatemala. The quetzal previously appeared in the flag of Los Altos, Central America in the 1830s.


On right side is the sitting Quetzal bird.


Left of center, on top, is the Guatemala's national flag.

maya numerauion maya numerauion

In lower left corner is denomination 200 in Maya numeration.

The Maya numeral system is a vigesimal (base-20) positional notation used in the Maya civilization to represent numbers. The numerals are made up of three symbols; zero (shell shape, with the plastron uppermost), one (a dot) and five (a bar). For example, thirteen is written as three dots in a horizontal row above two horizontal lines stacked above each other.

Numbers after 19 were written vertically in powers of twenty. For example, thirty-three would be written as one dot above three dots, which are in turn atop two lines. The first dot represents "one twenty" or "1×20", which is added to three dots and two bars, or thirteen. Therefore, (1×20) + 13 = 33. Upon reaching 202 or 400, another row is started (203 or 8000, then 204 or 160,000, and so on). The number 429 would be written as one dot above one dot above four dots and a bar, or (1×202) + (1×201) + 9 = 429. The powers of twenty are numerals, just as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system uses powers of tens.

Other than the bar and dot notation, Maya numerals can be illustrated by face type glyphs or pictures. The face glyph for a number represents the deity associated with the number. These face number glyphs were rarely used, and are mostly seen on some of the most elaborate monumental carving.

On left side, behind security strip, are the pictures from Mayas culture. Now I trying to find out - what kind of pictures are that and where they located.

The masque in top right corner now is not known also.

Denominations in numerals are in center and in top left corner. Also, in center, in words.


200 Quetzales 2009


Lower left are 2 Marimbas depicted - the national instrument of Guatemala.

The marimba (/məˈrɪmbə/) is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators suspended underneath the bars amplify their sound. The bars of a chromatic marimba are arranged like the keys of a piano, with the groups of 2 and 3 accidentals raised vertically, overlapping the natural bars to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of idiophone, but with a more resonant and lower-pitched tessitura than the xylophone.

The marimba was developed in Zimbabwe and is a traditional instrument whose name means song made by hitting planks. Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances, woodwind and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band (front ensembles), drum and bugle corps, and orchestral compositions. Contemporary composers have used the unique sound of the marimba more and more in recent years.

A player of the marimba can be called a marimbist or a marimba player.

In Guatemala, marimba music ensembles can be seen and heard everywhere, even in the remotest corners of the country. The marimba is, in fact, the national instrument of Guatemala, and has been an important part of holiday celebrations for hundreds of years. I invite you to share with me the beautiful music that is featured in today's post, you will not be disappointed.

The earliest version of the instrument was probably the arch marimba, which came from West Africa. Afro-Caribbean slaves could have introduced this marimba to Guatemala as early as 1550. This primitive instrument played a simple pentatonic or diatonic scale and had a range of less than two octaves.

In 1894 Julian Paniagua Martinez and Sebastian Hurtado developed the first chromatic marimba, which would have a scale exactly like the piano. Now, for the first time, modern European style music could be played on this new marimba. A large collection of modern dance pieces were composed by marimba players and composers such as Domingo Bethancourt (1906-82), the Ovalle brothers, the Hurtado brothers, as well as the famous Mariano Valverde (1884-1956), Wotzbeli Aguilar (1897-1940) and Belarmino Molina (1879-1950). Marimba design and manufacture underwent other improvements as well. Primitive gourd resonators were replaced with accurately tuned wooden box resonators. Bars and resonators were now encased in magnificent carved frames.

A distinguishing feature of the modern Guatemalan marimba is its size and range. It is built to accommodate three or four musicians at once. Each player has a specified area and register to play, much like a choir has bass, tenor, alto, and soprano parts. A typical marimba ensemble usually consists of a marimba for three players, another marimba for four players, a drum kit, and a string bass. The marimba is the principal and most important instrument in Guatemalan folk music, which is influenced by the music of Spain and West Africa. The marimba is also used to perform many other styles of music, including classical music and modern international popular music.

The Marimba was first introduced to North America in 1908 by the Hurtado family marimba ensemble. In the U.S. and Europe many XX century composers have created large works for the Marimba, just as you'd find for piano, violin, or flute. A solo marimba performance can be a compelling experience. The instrument itself has a striking appearance, and the range of sounds it is capable of producing are rich and uniquely beautiful.

Modern marimbas are constructed using rosewood for the bars and aluminum and/or brass for the resonators. Due to shortages in tropical hardwoods and growing environmental concerns, materials such as fiberglass are being developed to replace the hardwoods. The success of these attempts has been mixed. The range of the instrument varies depending on the model, and it is fairly standardized among manufacturers, mainly 4, 4.3, 4.5 and 5 octaves with the second C above treble staff as the highest note.

In Jazz, the marimba has also found a home. Jazz vibes players such as Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton have included the marimba in many of their recordings.

La flor del Cafe

Above Marimbas is the Musical score of "La flor del Cafe" ("The flower of cofe"), written by German Alcantara.

In the center is an allegorical composition, a drawing, dedicated to the work "Noche de luna entre ruinas" ("Moon night among ruins") by Mariano Valverde. This work was written after the earthquake in 1902, in the city of Quetzaltenango, an event, in which the mother of Valverde died. In fact, it is one of the most expressive compositions, from the repertoire of waltzes, in Guatemala.

Estar al borde de perder la fe en la madrugada,

O de tragarse las lágrimas, porque de nada servirán,

Aguantar el frío que apuñala los corazones…

Y abrazar a los sueños que tiemblan de miedo,

Y llorar pero para adentro,

Sin más fuerzas que la fuerza natural,

Sobrevivir una noche de luna entre ruinas.

Y bailar el vals de la noche y sus estrellas,

Mientras que las horas son aves que vuelan

Lejos de su nido que es la vida.

Pero sonreír muriendo,

Ironía pintoresca de acuarelas color miedo,

Luna que brilla apagada en el cielo,

Noche de luna entre ruinas…

Y observar como los pedazos de cielo caen,

Quedarme in fraganti en el robo de tu corazón,

Sobrevivir a la pena de tu ausencia y su pena,

Cargar con la cruz del olvido en

hombros compartidos,

Cumpliendo la ley primordial de

amaras a tu prójimo,

Alimentado de un amor de contexto desfavorecido.

Y aprender a bailar bajo la lluvia,

Y besarte al filo de la madrugada,

Despojados de todos los valores,

Quedando solo el alma

Y esta noche de luna entre ruinas


On right side is gray window - in which, by Intaglio print, is the ehad of Balam of Jaguar, in ancient Maya culture (this head also is visible in UV on banknote).

On right side are , again, the images of Maya, same as on obverse.

Same Quetzal bird is depicted, as an obverse, on right side.

Denomination in numeral is in lower left corner. In top right corner - in Maya numeration.


About all additional security measures, such as: image in UV light, micro-text and others you can read here, the text is in Spanish.