The world-famous Mayanist, Sylvanus Griswold Morley, used to say that the greatest treasure he found in Copan was the friendship and warmth of care he received from the Marinita Villamil and her family, whose home was to become his favorite site, as it was for other archaeologists and historians who came to Copan to unravel the mysteries of the Mayan civilization in the middle of the last Century. Excavations have been ongoing at the Acropolis since the 1930’s through the Carnegie Institute of Washington DC. Housing and caring for these people sparked the notion of making her home a place that offered lodging and meals not only for the scientific community, but also for the growing number of people from throughout the world that were attracted by the charm of Copan and mysterious legendary Ruins. In 1948, she and her husband, Don Raul Welchez, put their hearts and souls into the project and thus entered into history as the first hotel in Copan Ruinas, known as the Marina Copan Hotel.
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