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The Royal Maya Massacre

By David Johanssen

Archaeologists have discovered the gruesome scene of a royal massacre in the ancient city of Cancuén, once one of the richest cities in the Maya empire. The bones of 31 executed and dismembered Maya nobles were found in a sacred reservoir at the entrance to the royal palace in Cancuén in the Petén rain forest of Guatemala. Researchers also found a shallow grave nearby containing the skeletons of two people they believe were the king and queen.

Live Concert

The Cuban Trio
Sat, May 9, 7:30pm
150 pesos
Documentary and Discussion
The Royal Maya Massacre
Tue, May 12, 5pm
50 pesos
English subtitles
Live Music
Open Mic
Tue, May 12, 7:30pm
30 pesos, includes drink
Documentary and Discussion
Uncovering Aliens: Abductions and Bright Lights
Thu, May 14, 3pm
50 pesos

Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4
154 7524


Arthur Demarest, who led the research team that made the discovery, has studied the collapse of the Maya civilization for 20 years. He says the massacre site is “by far the most important thing” we have ever found. Some of the theories about the collapse of the Maya civilization include such factors as overpopulation, drought, political conflict, and loss of the royal court.

Tuesday, May 12, at 5pm, join us for a documentary and discussion on the Maya civilization, as we present The Royal Maya Massacre. “The massacre is an exceptionally dramatic example of the violence marking the end of royal court life and divine kingship in classic Maya civilization.” 50 pesos.

Saturday, May 9, at 7:30pm, The Cuban Trio. Join us for a live Cuban jazz concert with well-known local musicians: Remy Fenoy on Cuban guitar, Kimani Carrazana on percussion, and Yamil Vásquez on piano. They will present a repertoire featuring the rhythms of the musical style known as “Jazzsoneando” in a concert combining Afro-Caribbean-Mestizo sounds with jazz compositions. 150 pesos.

Tuesday, May 12, at 7:30 pm Open Mic. You don’t need to perform, but if you want your 10 minutes of fame, then this is the place for you! Regulars call it the “Cheers Bar” of San Miguel. You can do anything you want for 10 minutes as long as you are absolutely riveting. 30 pesos (includes drink).

Thursday, May 14, at 3pm, join us for a documentary and discussion on the alien abduction phenomenon, Uncovering Aliens: Abductions and Bright Lights. Six million Americans believe they’ve encountered an alien. Four top UFO investigators are now on a mission across America to hunt down the truth: are extra-terrestrials here on Earth and, if so, what do they want from us? 50 pesos.

Shelter Theater is part of the Shelter VG4 Cultural Center, located on Vicente Guerrero 4, a 10-minute walk from the Jardín. Telephone 154 7524 or visit to see upcoming films and events. Taxi concierge service is available to/from Teatro Shelter.


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