Our Mission

The Waka Research Foundation was established in 2007, stemming from the work of the El Perú-Waka' Archaeological Research Project (WARP), now in its sixth year; the project remains our flagship research effort. The objectives of the Foundation are:

  1. to promote and support sustained archaeological research;
  2. to promote and support cultural and natural conservation, and;
  3. to foster stewardship and community development in the countries of the Mundo Maya.

Research and Collaborations

Our current research and development efforts focus on excavation and eco- and heritage tourism development in and around the site of El Perú, known from hieroglyphic inscriptions as Waka'. Since entering the park in 2003, we have established a permanent base facility, carried out the first ever scientific excavations of El Perú-Waka' and provide seasonal employment to members of three communities in the vicinity of the site. Our research is part of collaborative efforts in Guatemala's largest national park, Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre (PNLT). Through partnerships with government and non-government organizations, and with the generous support of institutional and individual donors, the WRF and WARP are working to protect and preserve the park's ancient heritage and precious forest enclave from the devastations of human encroachment - poaching, illegal ranching and logging, and looting of ancient Maya artifacts.

Partner Organizations

Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (IDAEH) - Under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, IDAEH is the primary government agency responsible for the protection, investigation, and administration of Guatemala's cultural Heritage, including the site of El Perú. IDAEH guards, who live at the WARP base camp facility.

Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - CONAP is the primary government agency responsable for the protection, conservation, and administration of Guatemala's protected areas, including Laguna del Tigre Nacional Park.

Departamento para la Protección de la Naturaleza (DEPRONA) - DEPRONA officers are the primary law enforcement agents within Guatemala's national parks. In coordination with members of Guatemala's military, DEPRONA enforces the laws of the country within the Guatemalan parks system.

Ejército de Guatemala - Since 2005, the Guatemalan Army has maintained a small garrison of soldiers within Laguna del Tigre. These soldiers in cooperation with DEPRONA, patrol to protect the park and archaeological site and guard against illicit activities. Through our WARP facilities, we provide logistical support to the patrols.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) -

Conservation International (CI) -


  • Kimbell Art Museum
  • Universite Liege
  • Universidad San Carlos
  • Universidad del Valle


The following individuals and organizations have generously supported the work of the Waka Research Foundation, and the El Perú-Waka' Archaeological Research Project:

  • The Jerome E. Glick Foundation
  • The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • Governor William Clements
  • The Beckman Family Foundation

Contact Us

Waka Research Foundation
18 S. Central Avenue
St. Louis, MO, 63105


El Peru Waka

We Support

Waka Foundation
18 South Central Ave.
St Louis, MO 63105