About Us

We are an active experienced research photography and educational institute

We are aware of the importance of the Zapotec, Mixtec, Totonac, West Coast Mexico, and diverse other civilizations. The Guatemalan ruins of Bilbao and Cotzumalhuapa civilization is a great example of how cosmopolitan some cultures were.

FLAAR is interested in flora, fauna, and educational research in Mesoamerica. We work in all areas of Guatemala but especially Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Izabal, and Peten.

What is Mesoamérica?

About us

FLAAR Mesoamerica is a civil, non-profit, independent association, with educational and research purposes, which currently develops projects for the conservation of the environment and the cultural heritage of the Mesoamerica region, using technology for processing of digital images. FLAAR Mesoamerica is an extension in Guatemala of the non-profit institution FLAAR (Foundation for Latin American Anthropological Research) located in Missouri, United States.

FLAAR has a team made up of professionals and students from different areas and ethnicities, and is directed by archaeologist and photographer, Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, who has experience as a consultant in traditional professional photography and digital photography. The team is conformed by graphic designers, illustrators, engineers, biologists, photographers and explorers who carry out different activities to carry out the educational material that is shared through the FLAAR internet sites and social networks.

We work together with Q’eqchi’, Kaqchiquel, Pokomchi and additional Mayan groups

Six Mayan speaking individuals are in-house on-staff plus we work together with other Mayan speaking individuals around the country. Additional funding would make it realistic also to be working with Xinca and Garifuna schools.

Although our office is in Guatemala, Dr Nicholas has done field projects in Belize (Nim Li Punit), Mexico (Santa Rosa Xtampak), and Copan Ruinas, Honduras. We have also done research on flora and fauna in national parks of El Salvador.

We are open to coordinating research with other individuals, museums, institutes, and universities

Dr Nicholas was a visiting research professor (of digital photography and advanced inkjet printing technology) at Universidad Francisco Marroquin,

Plus he assisted the Museo Popol Vuh for many years to high-resolution digital rollout photography of their Mayan vases, bowls, plates, cache vessels, and urns.

He has lectured at the Ixchel textile museum several times on the same UFM campus in Guatemala.

The team of FLAAR Mesoamerica is open to working together with other foundations, NGO’s, and programs of consulates and embassies so that our years of experience and our ability to do graphic design and high-quality photography, plus our experience with social media and publication of e-books can assist more programs. A fair-share cost-sharing allows a project to be more realistic.

Our Mayan related websites


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is a leader in Google results for Maya ethnobotany. We focus primarily on edible plants used by the Maya thousands of years ago (and which should be re-introduced to improve health).

We also study eco-friendly renewable resources for utilitarian use.


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documents are interest in working with, recording, and making information available on diverse kinds of creatures of Neotropical Mesoamerica.

We can get even better photographs of birds high in trees if an 800mm lens were available. For their nests a digiscope would help.


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Nicholas discovered a royal tomb already in 1965 (while a student at Harvard, working for Univ of Penn at Tikal).

Then in the 1970’s he worked for five years to have the Yaxha-Sacnab area preserved as a national park. Plus with Miguel Orrego they mapped the entire ancient city.

Photography & Printer Websites

Digital Photography

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shows our years of experience.

National Geographic published Nicholas’s photos already 40 years ago!

Although we have a good range of digital cameras, lenses, tripods, etc. it would really help to have a donation so we can have an 800 Canon or an 800mm Nikon lens.


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A separate team has 20 years experience with Dr Nicholas in the world of wide-format inkjet printers, cutters, etc.

This experience makes it possible to provide printed posters for schools.

Our MayanToons Websites


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Meet Jagggy the Jaguar.

Meet Cutie the Coati.

Get to know Tappie the Tapir.

Since the team of FLAAR Mesoamerica knows the flora and fauna of Mesoamerica we can prepare more realistic animated films and children’s books.

Our goal is to coordinate our decades of experience with a major international animation studio to WOW the World with our friendly educational characters.

Mayan Characters

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Here we show a bit of the background of Dr Nicholas with plants and animals.

You will see him interacting with jaguars, pumas, and with tarantulas hiking up his arm.