Our Mission

To document and make known the biodiversity of the Maya Forest, and contribute practical knowledge to the sustainable development and conservation of the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Key Biodiversity Area.


Las Cuevas Research Station (LCRS) is located in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest in the Maya Mountains of Belize, an area recognized as a key biodiversity conservation area. We support research and conservation in one of the largest remaining blocks of tropical forest in Central America. LCRS welcomes visitors wishing to experience this remote and important part of the world. Towering trees, spectacular jungle streams, amazing underground caves and encounters with numerous endangered animals such as the Morelet’s Tree Frog, Jaguars, Baird’s tapir and Scarlet Macaws will make your visit to LCRS a fascinating and life long experience.”

Las Cuevas Research Station Cayo, Belize LCRS is approximately three hours South of San Ignacio, Cayo District.

Private transfer to LCRS can be arranged through LCRS in advance, or travel via rental car. Driving time from Philip S. W. Goldson airport to San Ignacio is about two hours.

From San Ignacio, expect 40 minutes to San Antonio village and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, another 40 minutes to the FCD ranger base, and a final 40 minutes to LCRS.

Join Us

LCRS has evolved over the years thanks to the support of many persons and organizations. The list is long and we welcome other partners. To keep the station operational, we rely specifically on a group of NGOs, Universities, and Research Institutions both local and abroad.

Become a Volunteer Become Our Partners Make a Donation



  • Acadia University
  • The University of California at Merced
  • The University of Manchester
  • Belize Communications & Security Ltd
  • University of Florida
  • Rice University
  • Associacion BALAM


Our in-house staff forms the core of LCRS. In short, Staff runs the place and is intimately responsible for our continued ability to function. The team is led by FCD’s Biologist, Boris Arevalo.

borisBoris has a MSc Degree in Management and Conservation of Tropical Forests and Biodiversity from CATIE, Costa Rica. His Masters’ thesis was titled “The influence of habitat complexity and landscape context on the biodiversity conservation value of cacao agroforests in Waslala, Nicaragua,” which work allowed him to graduate with honors.  Since obtaining his Associates degree in Environmental Science from Sacred Heart Junior College, Belize, in 2001 until 2007; he was an active consultant in the development of Environmental Impact Assessments, Rapid Ecological Assessments, biodiversity inventories and protected areas management plans.  From 2007 to 2008, he divided his time in conducting consultancy work and guiding scientific expeditions and natural history tours into the wilderness of Belize.  While studying at CATIE, he was an active volunteer in the Bird Monitoring Program of the institution, allowing him to gain ample knowledge in bird identification and research.  Since 2011, he has been acting as Biologist and research coordinator for Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), where he is spearheading scientific research in trying to understand how legal and illegal anthropogenic activities are impacting the Chiquibul Forest’s biodiversity and related implications on biodiversity conservation.  His areas of research also focus on the national economical value of natural resources by quantifying the financial losses due to the illegal extraction of timber and non-timber forest products.  He has also participated in numerous natural resources management workshops, seminars and congresses.

rafaelThe Biologist is also assisted by Mr. Rafael Mesh who is originally from the Maya village of San Antonio.

Rafael has experience in station management and worked for the Belize Forest Department for more than 10 years.

At the station there are also four field assistants, whose efforts have been centralized on assessing chamaedorean palm populations, the impacts of illegal logging and poaching, as well as monitoring Belize’s last population of scarlet macaws.  

angelicaBorn in Santa Clara Village, Corozal District, Ms. Moralez has dedicated herself to professional development. Throughout the course of her career she has participated in many food handling courses, earning many awards and she is a certified cook.

In 2004, Ms. Moralez was employed by Programme for Belize as assistant cook in Hill Bank Field Station, where she started to execute her ability.

Recently Ms. Moralez is employed by Friends for Conservation and Development and stationed at Las Cuevas Research Station as Head Cook.

pedroPedro was born in the Toledo District where he grew up with his parents and spent part of his life.

In 1992 his parents decided to move to  San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District where he has spend most of his time.

Pedro is very familiar with nature and has engaged himself in different activities at Las Cuevas Research Station.   Since 2010 he has been working at LCRS as station maintenance.

He also participates in guiding night walks or hiking long distances where he shares his knowledge and skills of the forest with others.