Lectures Workshops and Seminars

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FLAAR has PowerPoint presentations available for your audience on diverse topics. Dr. Hellmuth can lecture in English, Spanish and German, and is used to simultaneous translation in Asia, Middle East, and any other languages.

Museums, universities, and institutes have provided airplane tickets to countries all around the world to have public lectures making available the high-resolution photographs of FLAAR. Our experience in technical photography also resulted in Dr Nicholas Hellmuth being hired as a digital imaging consultant for historical cultural heritage on the Island of Malta. Hellmuth was asked to be a guest visiting professor in digital technology at Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology already in the laate 1990’s. At the bottom of the present web page is a list of the universities and museums and clubs such as Rotary Club that have wanted to have their members learn from FLAAR’s experience in digital imaging, archaeology (iconography, cosmology, art history and architectural history) and in the recent decade, also educational topics of Neotropical flora and fauna.

Although we prefer to meet you and your audience in-person, we have also begun ZOOM presentations (and can adapt to other platforms as well but we prefer ZOOM).

Lectures for botanical gardens, orchid societies, bromeliad societies, gardening clubs

Orchids of Guatemala: Epiphytic Orchids, Aquatic Orchids & Wild Vanilla Orchid Vines (Izabal, Peten, and Alta Verapaz)

Epiphytic Bromeliads & Terrestrial Bromeliads, especially of Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo.

Cacti, Lichens, Moss, and Ferns in Treetops, Tree Canopy, and on Tree Trunks in Peten, Alta Verapaz, and Izabal areas of Guatemala.


Flowers in Classic Maya, Teotihuacan, and Olmec art and iconography

Terrestrial Mushrooms and Arboreal Lichens as source for dye colorants for the Classic Maya and Aztec

Tree Bark, Leaves, Flowers, Plants & Insects: Sources of Dye Colorants for the Maya of Past, Present, and Future


Cacao (Cocoa, Chocolate) in Classic Maya Ceramics, Epigraphy & Iconography compared with the two species of Theobroma native to prehispanic Mayan areas.

Cacao Flavoring of the Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Aztec for 2000 years. What plants of Mesoamerica were used to add flavoring and medicinal aspects to chocolate (no sugar 2000 years ago, but lots of other alternatives).

What Native Plants of the Rain Forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, etc. that are edible and healthy can help replace junk food to improve health and avoid Diabetes 2 among local Mayan people in rural areas? What super foods were available 2000 years ago that you should add to your meals around the world today?



Ecosystems of Peten that have not been Photographed or Published by any Biologist, Botanist, Zoologist, Ecologist or Archaeologist. Since Nicholas first visited Tabasco and Chiapas in 1961 (at age 16), spent 12 months solid at Tikal at age 19 in 1965, then several months each year during the early 1970’s at Yaxha (Peten, between Tikal and Belize), he has basic experience in the Maya Lowlands (for over half a century). While doing field work 2018-2019 in Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo, at the invitation of the park administrators, he used aerial photos (not LiDAR; no LiDAR yet for Yaxha, Nakum or Naranjo) and found remote biodiverse ecosystems nowhere reported in the literature.

Elsewhere in Peten, with the help of local people who know Nicholas for over 40 years, they took him to a seasonally inundated palm tree ecosystem that they said no botanist, ecologist or archaeologist had been to before in these two locations.

We have high–resolution color photographs of the areas of Yaxha, Nakum, Naranjo plus drone photos of the previously undocumented ecosystems near Arroyo Petexbatun.




For any presentation on edible and usable plants of the Mayan rain forests, we also note that since we work together with the Mayan people you should consider flying at least one of our Mayan plant scouts to your botanical garden, university, natural history museum, or lecture for your local club. Kaqchiquel, Q’eqchi’, and Pokomchi Mayan students work together with us in Guatemala and they know the rain forests that are around their homes and the homes of their parents and grandparents.



Lectures for Individuals and your family and friends, or for your club (university club, social club, Rotary Club, etc.)

How to Improve your Photography: Macro photography of Flowers and Butterflies; Panorama Photography of Landscapes; iPhone vs Nikon and Canon or Sony.

Flora, Fauna & Archaeology Photography at Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo, Peten, Guatemala during 2018-2019

Finding & photographing Tropical Flowers rain forests near Rio Dulce, Izabal. PowerPoint to show the remarkable Heliconia, palms, water lilies and other awesome tropical plants of this Caribbean corner of Guatemala.


Lectures for universities, museums, associations

Tomb of the Jade Jaguar; what is it like to discover the entire tomb and treasure of a Mayan King under a 9th century pyramid (when you are a student intern 19 years old). This corbel-vaulted burial chamber was Harvard undergraduate thesis in 1966. You can now still see everything in the tomb chamber in full color, compared with tomb of his father or brother under Tikal Temple I.

Palaces, Pyramids, & Temples

Architectural History of
Pre-Columbian Mesoamerca
A.D. 400-1400

Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, Teotihuacan, Classic Veracruz (El Tajin), Toltec, Zapotec

Explore Xibalba Welcome to a place worse than Hell. Follow us into the caves of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, plus learn about the Birds, Animals & Insects of the Maya civilization mentioned in the Popol Vuh. We have found the River of Puss and the River of Scorpions (Dr Nicholas waded through both). But what is the River of Blood? (in Xibalba, land of the demons, deities, and devils of the Classic Maya).


Classic Maya rubber ballgame: differences and similarities with ballgames of Aztec, Mixtec and Teotihuacan. Different playing gear, different size of the rubber ball, and other aspects.

What chemicals and manufacturing processes did the Classic Maya have available to “vulcanize” rubber over a thousand years before Thomas Goodyear. Or, can you make rubber bounce without “vulcanizing it” (yes, and we can show you all the plants whose chemicals make latex bounceable). We raise two of these plants in our research garden.

Deer Hunting and Relationship to Mayan Ballgame Outfits and Iconography.

Headdresses and skirts of ballplayers compared to headdresses and hunter outfits of deer hunters (as pictured on numerous 6th-9th century polychrome vases, bowls, and plates).

Maya ballcourt architecture; what was REALLY the most important part of the court?

We have studied ballcourt architecture throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.

And in what part of the ancient cities are the ballcourts normally situated?

At some universities we have been invited to provide a 1-week seminar: 2 to 3 hours per day, for one week. In Korea Dr Nicholas was invited to speak an entire day, from 9 am to 5 pm, so one solid day (with lunch break and coffee breaks obviously).
The five lectures in the list can be given one-per-day, or all on one single day.

Patolli, game board symbolism; Maya, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, Toltec, and Aztec patolli, Although this game is separate from ballgames it has subtle relationships that we will reveal to you in the presentation.

You can ask for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 of these ballgame related presentations.


Surface of the Underwaterworld: sharks, coral reefs: saltwater and freshwater ecosystems in Maya art (especially water lily ethnobotany and iconography). This was the PhD dissertation of Dr. Hellmuth, but with many years of post-graduate field work to add even more full-color photographs.

Waterbirds in Classic Maya Art: Waterbirds, Wading Birds, Diving Birds in the Rivers, Lakes, and Swamps of Peten, Izabal, Lake Atitlan, and Pacific Ocean coastal Swamps of Guatemala.

Waterbirds are pictured in murals, stone stelae, stucco reliefs, ceramics (bowls, vases, and plates).

Jaguars, Ocelots and Margays: Iconography & Zoology, Maya and Teotihuacan Murals & Ceramic Art.

This presentation also covers jaguarundi and puma (panther, mountain lion) since there are five felines native to Guatemala, southern Mexico, Honduras, and Belize.


Lectures for museums

We come from the world of museums so it is natural that we enjoy giving public lectures at Museums. FLAAR has been asked to speak at museums in Tokyo, Oaxaca (Mexico), Guatemala City (both the national museum and at the Museo Popol Vuh), St Louis Art Museum, St Louis Historical Society, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Denver Art Museum, etc.

Below is a more complete list (the ones we can remember):


Universities, Colleges in USA

  • UCLA,
  • Berkeley,
  • Fresno City College,
  • California State University,
  • Cornell
    Washington University,
  • Miami University,
    Florida State University,
  • Brigham Young University,
  • University of Kansas (Dept of Art History)
  • University of New Hampshire,
  • University of Wisconsin,
  • University of Texas,
  • Southern Methodist University,
  • Beloit College,
  • Brevard Community College (Florida),
  • Ashland Community College (Kentucky),
  • Ripon College,
  • Yale,
  • Harvard,
  • Columbia,
  • Princeton,
  • Tulane University,
  • Gettysburg College,
  • College (Orlando, twice),
  • UCLA Extension (Adult Education)

And also lectured in: Amherst, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Great Neck, Ithaca, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Tallahassee.

Universities in Europe

  • Universitat Zuxich, (Switzerland),
  • Urania (Halle/Saale, Germany)
    Urania (Graz, Austria, three times),
  • Deutsch-Ibero-Amerikanische Gesellschaft (Frankfurt am Main, Germany),
  • Institut fuer Altamerikanistik, Universitat Hamburg (Gerrnany),
  • Karl-Franzens-Universittat (Graz, Austria),

Universities in Mexico

  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,
  • University of the Americas (Puebla, Mexico),

Universities in Guatemala

  • Universidad de San Carlos (Guatemala City),
  • Museo Popol Vuh-Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala City, many times),
  • Museo Ixchel (Maya Textiles),
  • Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala City, many times)

Museums in USA

  • Museum of Primitive Art (New York),
  • Lewes (Delaware) Historical Society,
  • Museum of Science (six times),
  • Brevard Museum (Cocoa, Florida),
  • Witte Museum (San Antonio),
  • St. Louis Art Museum (twice),
  • Museum of Science and History (St. Louis),
  • New Orleans Museum of Art,
  • Dallas Museum of Art (three times),
  • Denver Art Museum (five times),
  • Denver Museum of Natural History,
  • Orlando Museum of Art,
  • Cornell Art Museum-Rollins

Museums in Canada

  • Montreal Museum of Art,
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery,
  • Columbus (Georgia) Museum of Arts and Crafts,
  • Cambridge (Mass.) Adult Education Center,
  • McGill University (Montreal),
  • Winnipeg Museum of Art (Canada),
Museums in Europe

  • Reiss Museum (Mannheim, Germany),
  • Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Leiden, Holland),
  • Museum of Natural History, Bauhaus Dessau (Germany),
  • Humboldt-Gesellschaft (Berlin, Germany, twice),
  • Heimatrnuseum Zerbst (Germany),
  • Naturkundemuseum Leipzig (Germany)

Institutions in USA

  • Regional chapters of the Archaeological Institute of America (several locations across USA)
  • American Institute of Architects (St. Louis Chapter),
  • Harvard Club of Cleveland,
  • Institute of Maya Studies-Miami,
  • Mayan Society (St. Louis),
  • St. Louis Benedictine Priory,
  • Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles,
  • Friends of Ethnic Art (San Francisco, twice),
  • Rocky Mountain Institute for Pre-Columbian Studies (Denver, several times),

Institutions in Europe

  • Ibero-Club (Bonn, Germany),
    Kiwanas Club (Hannover, Germany)
  • Deutsch-Mexikanische Gesellschaft (Dusseldorf, Germany),

Institutions in Mexico

  • Amigos del Museo (Oaxaca, Mexico),
  • Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (several occasions),

Institutions in Guatemala

  • Asociacion Tikal (Guatemala City),
  • Parque Nacional Tikal (Peten, Guatemala),
  • Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo (Peten),
  • 2019
    Rotary Club (Guatemala City)
    Rotary Club (Coban, Alta Verapaz)
  • La Ruta Maya, exhibit, Antigua, 2015

During five years (as guest visiting research professor) at Brevard Community College, Florida (several decades ago), we had a Maya archaeology symposium every year. This attracted people from all over the US, from Japan, and Europe.

No need to limit yourself to just one topic

At several locations we have done seminars: so a complete series of lecture. In Korea Dr. Hellmuth presented from 9am until 5pm (obviously with lunch break and coffee, tea, and chocolate candy breaks). If you want all the flora, fauna, Maya art, archaeology, iconography presentations for you, your family, your friends and colleagues, the membership of your organization, he can stay an entire week in your location (or you can plan 2 ZOOM presentations each afternoon, or all weekend: Saturday and Sunday: your choice).


We have organized workshops in Cincinnati and another (mentioned above) in Seoul, Korea. We did a three-day workshop in Athens, Greece. Also, the FLAAR did an all-day workshop in several countries including in Novosibirsk, Russia. Novosibirsk translates as "New Siberia".

Lectures for Printer Expos, Open House events, Conferences

Dr Nicholas has been flown to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, EU, Malta, Mexico and Panama to share his knowledge and two decades of experience in digital photography, scanning, and especially wide-format inkjet printing (UV-curing, textile, fine art giclee, décor, etc.).

(In other words, he works on a lot more than archaeology, iconography, ethnobotany, zoology, and ecology). Very easy: a capable team assist him in each of these fields (a total of 20 individuals). All these digital imaging aspects are utilized in flora and fauna research and preparing material for local schools in Guatemala. Plus, handling all these topics is possible because he does not need a hobby, since everything he does he enjoys exploring. So his entire time is focused on research, fieldwork in remote biodiverse ecosystems, and preparing reports.


For lectures on inkjet inks, cutters, textile printers, etc. often printer expos and Open House events, and companies that wish consulting assistance from FLAAR-REPORTS also fly over Pablo M. Lee and/or Maria Renee Ayau and/or Jose Melgar since each of them also have more than a decade experience in the world of wide-format inkjet printing and workflow (RIP software, cutters, etc.). Some entities fly several of us together as a team. Or they select the specialist for the specific topic on which they wish expertise.



Contact Us

To book Dr Hellmuth for your next event write FrontDesk symbol FLAAR.org We assume you can close the space and add the correct symbol.

During COVID it is best to send e-mail since people at not always at the office. As soon as COVID is over and we reopen the office, it will be easier to answer the phone. In the meantime, please use e-mail; this we check every day.

We can also do presentations via ZOOM; this eliminates airfare cost but a lecture fee is appreciated since our designers will be at their home offices preparing an updated edition of the presentation and Dr Nicholas will also be updating the text.



Most recently updated August 2020.
Previously 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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