In Guatemala, cuerda is both a unit of length measurement as well as of area measurement. As a unit of area measurement, the Guatemalan cuerda can have various meanings.[full citation needed] In Cuba, cuerda refers to a unit of volume measurement; in Spain[a] and Paraguay, it refers to a unit of distance (length).
By unit type
Cuerda is a unit of area, volume, and distance (length), depending on the country of use.
A unit of area: Puerto Rico and Guatemala
In Puerto Rico, a cuerda is a traditional unit of land area nearly equivalent to 3,930 square meters, or 4,700 square yards, 0.971 acre, or 0.393 hectare (ha). The precise conversion is 1 cuerda = 3,930.395625 m2. The term "Spanish acre" instead has been used sometimes by mainlanders. A cuerda and an acre have often been treated as equal because they are nearly the same size.
According to Carlos Menocal Villagran,[full citation needed] in Guatemala, the term cuerda refers to a unit of area and can have various meanings. Cuerda can refer to areas that are 50 x 50, 40 x 40, 30 x 30, 25 x 25 or 20 x 20 varas (i.e. 2500, 1600, 900, 625, or 400 square varas). In addition, some sources[which?] describe a cuerda as 32 x 32 varas. In Guatemala, the linear vara is equivalent to 0.8421 meters.[b] Thus,
- One cuerda of 50 x 50 varas = 1,746.84 square meters
- One cuerda of 40 x 40 varas = 1,117.98 square meters
- One cuerda of 30 x 30 varas = 628.87 square meters
- One cuerda of 25 x 25 varas = 436.71 square meters
- One cuerda of 20 x 20 varas = 279.50 square meters
A unit of volume: Cuba
A unit of distance: Guatemala, Spain and Paraguay
During 19th-century Spain, a cuerda was a unit of length, of nearly 6.889 m (approx. 7.554 yd). However, in Valencia, Spain, the cuerda measured 40 varas, over 5.4 times longer, as nearly 37.21 m (approx. 40.7 yd).
- Archived at the WayBack Machine on 16 August 2013, from the original Units: C: cuerda. Russ Rowlett. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Units - Cuerda. Sizes.com. Puerto Rico Act 135, section 4 (page 100), 1913–14, as amended by Act No. 3, 1913–14: A cuerda, quote: "a unit of land area, approximately 3,930 square meters (approximately 0.971 acres)...In land measurements and records, the measurement by cuerda customarily used in Porto [sic] Rico...equivalent to 3,930.395625 square meters..."
- Carlos Menocal Villagran. La Importancia para el Notario de Conocer el Sistema de Conversión de Medidas Agrarias al Sistema Métrico Décimal e Interpretatión Básica de Planos. Tesis. Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Sociales, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. San Carlos, Guatemala.
- In both Spain, it was a unit of distance until the 19th century; it is no longer in use.
- The length of a vara varies slightly among different Latin American countries.