Rafael Guerra was born in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize. After completing
his Junior College Degree he worked as a tour guide with several operators in the
Cayo district (1996 – 2004). Rafael first joined the BVAR project in 1999, as part
of a scholarship program (run by the project for Belizeans) to enhance his guiding
skills by augmenting his background in archaeological methods and theory. After
successfully completing the field course he returned to the project as volunteer
and junior staff member (1999 – 2002). During this time Rafael worked at
several sites with BVAR/WBRCP including Baking Pot, Cahal Pech, Caracol,
Pook’s Hill, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Actun Uayazba Kab, Actun Nak Beh, Actun
Yaxteel Ahau, Chechem Ha cave and Actun Chapat, where he learned numerous
skills including excavating, reconnaissance and surveying. He was later hired to
work as part of the Tourism Development Project, Caracol (2001 – 2003), where
he served as the Camp Manager.
In 2004 Rafael took over supervising salvage excavations and settlement surveys
in the Chalillo area of the Upper Macal Valley (northeast of Caracol) in
preparation of hydro-electrical development in the area.
In 2009 he completed received B.A in Anthropology from the University of
Indianapolis (program offered in Belize at Galen University).
Currently Rafael is in employment with the Belize Institute of Archaeology, as an
Archaeologist. His responsibilities include the development of a multivariate
database, for all known archaeological sites in Belize, spanning from the Archaic
to Historic Periods (8,000 BC – AD 1900’s), and conducting reconnaissance and
mapping of newly discovered sites. This database will eventually be part of a
nation-wide GIS Project. He is also a Community Associate with the Institute for
At present Mr. Guerra is the surveyor for the Belize Valley Archaeological
Reconnaissance Project focusing on the monumental and settlement survey of
the Lower Dover Maya Site in the Cayo District.
Recent Projects have included: the BRASS/EL Pilar Project (2004), workin