Our People

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Flora and Fauna research team:

We study flowering plants, lichens (can produce dye colorants as can several mushrooms of Guatemala) and especially edible plants plus plants that can provide useful materials. Our focus is high-resolution digital photography of these plants, to assist in publishing which under-utilized plants are edible and more healthy than modern junk food. We are interested in any plant that can help replace plastic, etc. The library aspect of this is accomplished by our library research team Vivian Hurtado, flora-fauna researcher Victor Mendez and Nicholas Hellmuth.

We are able to find rare and under-studied plants because we have experience (and initiative and energy) to hike for kilometers out into the rain forests, wade through rivers, swamps, and bogs, climb steep hills and reach biodiverse ecosystems that no other ecologist, botanist, or zoologist has yet recorded. Senaida Ba Mucu assists us on all field trips especially in Q’eqchi’ Mayan-speaking areas of Alta Verapaz, Peten, and Izabal.

We appreciate the assistance of the co-administrators and park rangers at PNYNN during 2018-2019 and the assistance of the Municipio de Livingston during 2020. The publications on each of these projects mention the key individuals.

Flora and Fauna reports design and production team:

We prefer to prepare our reports in-house and use lots of full page photographs. All our reports on flora and fauna are not commercialized; they can be downloaded by professors, students, organizations, interested lay people, etc. Andrea Sánchez Díaz, David Arrivilaga, Jaqueline González, María Alejandra Gutierrez and Maria Ximena Arriaga De Paz. Senaida Ba Mucu also helps prepare field trip reports and turn bibliographies into PDFs. Abigail (Gaby) Cabnal has assisted our teams for various years. Her family was constructing a new home in Senahu so she has been helping per family there in Alta Verapaz.

On field trips we are also assisted by Norma Estefany Cho Cu, Byron Alberto Halal Pacay, and Gaby Cabnal. Juan Pablo Fumagalli has also been a capable and helpful photographer on past field trips. Boris Llamas and Ericka Garcia have brought to the field trips their experience in flora and fauna and their ability to rappel up into the tall trees (to help study and photograph treetop ecosystems along the branches of these giant rain forest trees). We also appreciate the experienced licensed drone pilot, Haniel López, for his helpful capability of piloting essential drones.

MayanToons educational book preparation and production team:

Nicholas Hellmuth writes the original storyboards on each plant, mammal, bird, reptile, etc. based on his experience in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (and Peru) since 1961. Kaqchiquel Mayan illustrators Rosa Sequen Subuyuj and Maria Josefina Sequen Subuyuj do the illustrations as does Valeria Aviles.

MayanToons educational animated video preparation and production team

The entire MayanToons book team also contributes to the animated video preparation. Production manager is animator Laura Morales. We appreciate the cooperation and knowledge of cinematographer and video capability of Camila Morales and digital animator and digital video producer Gustavo Gallegos of their company anima.works.

Social Media Manager

Roxana Leal is the social media manager for the 4,192 LinkedIn contacts of FLAAR and Nicholas Hellmuth plus Facebook, Twitter, etc. for FLAAR-Mesoamerica and MayanToons.

Office Managers

Flor de Maria Setina has been office manager for over a decade. Vivian Diaz is manager of Flora and Fauna research and publications plus MayanToons books and animated videos.

Website Network

Our websites are handled by webmaster Paulo Nuñez and web designers Juan Carlos Hernandez Tello and María José García.

FLAAR web design team in Guatemala

This is the FLAAR web design team in Guatemala, City. They are in charge of updating and reviewing the more than one thousand pages of our diverse sites with new information and photos obtained from the site visit cases, lectures, trade shows, etc. Our sites provide evaluations to over one million visitors per year.

Since we are working from our home offices, the photographs on this web page are from past years.

The additional team of FLAAR-REPORTS are presented on www.FLAAR-Reports.org. They accomplish research and reports on digital imaging and wide-format inkjet printing technology. Our experience in the world of large-format printing enables us to prepare material for museums, botanical gardens (did two exhibits of flowering plants of Guatemala at MOBOT) and especially to prepare educational material about local plants and animals to donate to schools in remote areas of Guatemala. Their research team, social media team, video team are all credited in their videos, reports, and the web sites of this división.

FLAAR video production team

Here is the first FLAAR video production team, Gustavo Gallegos, Interactive Art Director (right), Camila Morales, Production Assistant and Narrator, and Dr Nicholas Hellmuth. They are working on the first short video: sacred peccaries in 3rd-15th century Mayan art and cosmology. They have advanced their capabilities and formed their own company, whose web site is anima.works.

3d scanners, 3d software

(1) Eduardo Sacayon, Juan Luis Sacayon, and Cindy Contreras are all trained in 3D scanning, as is Dr Nicholas Hellmuth. (2) Camila Morales, a student intern interested in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, has been scanning archaeological sculptures and 4th-8th century artifacts in museums for FLAAR in Guatemala for many months a decade ago. (3) Ievgenia Nemirova is a student of architecture and thus experienced to handle 3D modeling software. She was a helpful student intern. She and her husband are now architects in Dubai and she comes to the annual dinner of the Sign Middle East digital printing expo each year in Dubai.

FLAAR Reports team, Guatemala

FLAAR-REPORTS are the product of a team of experienced graphic designers and Technical Writers. Here you can see them at work in their research or design environment. In this photo (from left to right) Pablo M. Lee, Maria Rene Ayau, Nicholas Hellmuth, Grace Morales and Estefani Escoto. Their web site is www.FLAAR-Reports.org.


Updated July 2020.

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We are dedicated to continue to be a source of information and education about flora and fauna of Mesoamerica today that is related to Classic Maya civilization 2000 years ago.

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