A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
National Geographic Explorer Guillermo de Anda is an archaeologist dedicated to research on Maya civilization. His specialties include the study of caves and cenotes and the sacred geography of the Maya. For 14 years, de Anda was a professor and researcher at the School of Anthropological Sciences of the Autonomous University of Yucatán, where he founded and directed the underwater archaeology department. Currently, de Anda works for Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), where he oversees special projects in underwater archaeology. He is the director of the National Geographic-supported Great Maya Aquifer project in the Yucatán, and has also received grants from the Society for his Cenote Cult project. In 2012, de Anda was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
For departures that Guillermo de Anda is not leading as National Geographic Expert, he will join our group on Day 3 for additional insight at Chichén Itzá and its Sacred Cenote, a special lecture on underwater archeology in the region, and discoveries funded by National Geographic.
Boston University archaeologist William Saturno has received numerous National Geographic grants to support his excavation of ancient Maya murals and artifacts. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the January 2006 National Geographic magazine article “The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings," and the June 2012 issue described his recent unearthing of murals at Xultún. Bill has also served as Field Director of the Río Amarillo Archaeological Project in Western Honduras, where he examined the relationships of Maya cities around Copán.
Anthropologist Richard Hansen directs the National Geographic-funded Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. An adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, Richard was named the 2008 Environmentalist of the Year in Latin America by the Latin Trade Group, a major regional publisher. The president of Guatemala has also awarded him the country's National Order of the Cultural Patrimony. Richard is a founder of National Geographic’s Dialogue of Civilizations conference and appeared in the society's "Dawn of the Maya" documentary. For all departures of the optional post-trip extension to El Mirador, Guatemala, Richard Hansen or a member of the El Mirador Basin research team will host visitors at the Mayan site.