• Water Lily

    Why is there a Mayan “water lily Jaguar”?

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  • Boated-Billed Heron

    Discovery of a boat-billed heron, in the Canal de Chiquimulilla, near Monterrico

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  • Scarlet Macaw

    Four good places to study the scarlet macaw, Ara macao, are AutoSafari Chapin, Las Guacamayas Biological Station, Copan Ruinas, and Macaw Mountain (all in Central America).

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  • Jaguar Cub

    Learning about Jaguars in Guatemala

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Toucan

Keel-billed toucan, Ramphastos sulfuratus is a logo-like symbol of the Neotropical seasonal rain forests of Mesoamerica and adjacent areas (and hence a common corporate logo).

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Owl

We will have a page related to Owls soon.

Soon

Squirrel

We will have a page related to our squirrels art soon.

Soon

Macaw

The Scarlet macaw was a logo for the Maya 1400 years ago.

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June-July is rainy season… so lots of fresh edible mushrooms

ABC Spelled With Mushrooms Westcot

ABC pelled with mushrooms upside up,
Nikon D810, 50mm , f/1.4, 1/20, ISO 250

 

We FLAAR (USA) and FLAAR Mesoamerica (Guatemala) continue our project to provide totally innovative books for children in primary schools in remote mountain areas of Guatemala (and for their parents and grandparents).

We use plants to spell each letter of the alphabet (to teach ABC’s to children). These mushrooms will spell the letter H, Hongos.

These ABC’s we do in three languages for schools in remote areas: Mayan, Spanish, and English. All the teachers tell us that they can’t find tri-lingual books: they can find only Spanish-Mayan or English-Spanish: the teachers say they prefer all three languages together. So the teams of FLAAR Mesoamerica use fruits, vegetables, and now an edible mushroom, to finish our ABC.

 

Helping school children learn about plants and animals in the three languages spoken in their country

Animal Species Spanish Qeqchi English

We are preparing Q’eqchi’ Mayan – English – Spanish dictionaries, by subject. FLAAR Mesoamerica and the MayanToons team are doing this because when we visit the schools in remote mountain areas, the teachers ask for material in all three languages. The teachers say they can get Spanish-English or Spanish-Q’eqchi’ Mayan material, but never all three in the same poster or book. Lots of the kids in the school class also ask us to help them learn English. So here is a start: we still need to find the word for amphibian classification in Q’eqchi’.

 

Spanish is spoken in most parts of Guatemala. Garifuna is spoken in Izabal area (plus Spanish). Xinca and 21 Mayan languages are registered. In other words, in most areas it helps if the children learn at least three languages: Spanish, English, and their local native language. It is easier for them to learn as children than to make time to learn later in life.

 

Getting to know pollinators other than just bees

We have so many species of different flowering plants in the FLAAR Mayan Ethnobotanical Research Garden that we see pollinators almost every day.

Pollinators-butterfly-wasp-bee-mosquito-or-fly-small-plant-FLAAR-garden Pollinators-butterfly-wasp-bee-mosquito-or-fly-small-plant unknown_mosquito_or_fly_pollinator_FLAAR_garden

Bee or wasp? We are interested in finding and photographing wasps which are pollinators and then finding nests of “honey wasps.”

Yes, some wasps in Mexico, Guatemala and nearby countries make honey.

What is the world is this insect?

Whatever it is, it's on the same flowers at same time of day as both bees and wasps.

Sure has big eyes.

Is this a male mosquito? Or a “mosquito fly”?

Sure is nicely posing for the photo (because it is busy harvesting nectar).

Is bamboo in Guatemala from ancient Maya? Or is all bamboo from Asia?

Bamboo unknown green Rio Cienega Izabal

 

95% or more of the bamboo you see along the highways and roads of Guatemala was brought from Asia, mostly during the last hundred years. But there are several species of native bamboo of Guatemala. So yes, the ancient Maya did have bamboo available. We have not yet identified the bamboo in this photo but we believe it is native. This research of ours helps us be able to prepare books for children to teach them about their own country and the plants they can be proud of protecting.

School presentation in mountain area above Rio Cahabon

school-presentation-Santa-Rosa-Chivite
School-presentatio-Santa-Rosa-Chivite

After walking across the impressive swinging hammock bridge, we hiked up the hill to donate educational material to the schools along the Rio Cahabon, Alta Verapaz..