Belize Belise and Guatemala Academic Group Student Travel,
Biological Field Station Las Guacamayas,
The Las Guacamayas Biological Field Station lies within the
buffer zone of the 1.6 million Hectare Maya Biosphere reserve in Peten’s
Guacamayas Biological Field Station lies on the shore of the San Pedro river in
northern Petén, about 16°49- 17°49'N, 89°08'-91°50'W. The Field Station is
within walking distance (3 miles) of the Maya Indian village Paso Caballos,
population 200 people. The Field Station is the most modern facility within The
Maya Biosphere Reserve, which includes five national parks, three biotopes and a
multiple-use area – Laguna del Tigre is recognized under RAMSAR, and Tikal NP
is a World Heritage site.
Guacamayas Biological Field Station is approx. 450-500 km². (Located within the 15000-16000 km². Maya Biosphere Reserve).
c. 10-800 m.
Subtropical semi-deciduous moist forest,
savanna, wetlands. High diversity:
Flora: High diversity: over 3000 plant species in Maya Biosphere Reserve;
distinct regional endemism; threatened species. Useful Plants: Timber species,
fuel wood, fibers, fruits, medicinals; Maya Biosphere Reserve important for
extraction of non-timber forest products: e.g. xate palm leaves, chicle,
The physical station consists of 8 buildings, all of which
were built 1995. The central dining room seats 50, and an equal number can be
accommodated in a diversity of housing including dormitories and smaller cabins.
The laboratory provides ample research space and a range of equipment for
ecological research (e.g. deionized water still, wet tables, autoanalyzer,
spectrophotometer, gas chromatographs, etc.). The Station has a powerful
generator, which is operated in accordance to the group needs. The library and
herbarium are also part of the research quarters, and additional screened
laboratory space is avail-able, as are a soil preparation building, shade
houses, etc. The station is accessible by the San Pedro River and a carefully
This lowland tropical rainforest site is a major drawing
card for researchers educators and students from around the world. Many
publications available today are attributable to the Maya Biosphere reserve and
they range in scope from studies on biological diversity to the physical
chemistry of soils. Independent investigators and schools from around the globe
conduct most research. Several long-tern research projects are ongoing at the
Facilities are made available to high schools,
undergraduate and graduate schools, which are fitted around
research priorities. While the station per se does not offer courses, The
University of San Carlos and Schools from The USA and Canada use the biological
reserve each year and hundreds of local children, parents, and government
officials are introduced to conservation and sustainable land use management
through environmental education programs. Each day, professors and teaching
assistants give lectures and provide background information to help students and
visitors develop a conceptual framework for understanding the diversity of the
neotropical rainforest system. Lectures, group projects and exposure to real
examples of plant-animal interactions are designed to help participants develop
their own original research projects.
The primary goal of Las Guacamayas Biological Field Station
is to provide the means to challenge participants and visitors intellectually,
and utilize with them, the problem-solving skills and academic background needed
to address key issues in tropical ecology, environmental studies, and
conservation. At the same time, to develop and master a plan that would yield a
harmonious and sustainable development in the region, guaranteeing the stability
of present natural and cultural resources.
More Information About the Maya Biosphere, Click Here).