The famous stucco swimmer frieze from the Late Preclassic Period, located in the Grand Central Acropolis

Our Mission & Vision

The Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies (FARES) is dedicated to conducting scientific research on ancient Maya societies and their environments in the Mirador Basin in the northern Peten, Guatemala. Our organization is committed to scientific investigations utilizing multi-disciplinary cultural and environmental data for the conservation and development of threatened areas, and to promoting education and vocational training in local communities.

The FARES Foundation is committed to investigating and saving the Mirador Basin, and is currently collaborating with our partners, the Guatemalan government, the Global Heritage Fund, the Foundation for Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage (Pacunam), Friends of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Guatemala (APANAC), the Hitz Foundation, and many other institutions, local communities, and international organizations and governments to ensure preservation and protection of this exceptional area.

Brief History

The Mirador Basin exists as one of Central America’s greatest treasures. This culturally and biologically rich area is located in the northern-most region of the Peten (Guatemala) and southern Campeche (Mexico), in the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Covering nearly 810,000 acres on the Guatemalan side, the Mirador Basin offers extensive habitat to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including several World Conservation Union (IUCN) identified endangered species. In addition to a striking biological diversity, the Mirador Basin is marked by the earliest and largest Preclassic Maya cities known in Mesoamerica. These cities are filled with massive constructions including pyramids, temples, palaces, causeways, and other remnants of a highly evolved and complex society.