The Lost City of the Monkey God Screening with Steve Elkins, Cinematographer and Explorer
Proceeds to benefit The Lost City Fund supporting the Kaha Kamasa Foundation in Honduras ~ New Performance Date
A lost city on the mountains of Honduras! An intrepid explorer determined to find it! A million-dollar machine, capable of mapping terrain using sensors! Special Forces! Poisonous snakes, deadly parasites and torrential rains! Brushes with death!
It sounds like the next installment of Indiana Jones, but this is not fiction. This is the true story of how adventurer Steve Elkins became captivated by the legend of La Ciudad, the White City, a great ruin rumored to exist in the interior mountains of the Mosquitia region of Honduras. He spent 20 years trying to find it and his exploits were detailed in the best-selling book by Douglas Preston, The Lost City of the Monkey God, and in a film of the same name by Bill Benenson.
In a thrilling evening, the audience will see the film and hear Elkins recount his experience as expedition leader as he and a group of scientists, filmmakers, journalists and Special Forces soldiers overcome torrential rains, poisonous snakes, and deadly parasites on an expedition to one of the last unexplored places on Earth.
Elkins worked in television for 30 years as a cinematographer, editor and producer. In 2012, his fascination with tales of the Honduran Mosquitia led him to form the company UTL (Under the LiDAR.) with adventure-loving partners. Using LIDAR, a form of laser terrain mapping, Elkins and Benenson organized an airborne expedition to scan unexplored areas of the Mosquitia jungle where Elkins thought the ruins might be. Their efforts paid off, but it took three more years of planning before a multidisciplinary team was able to verify the discoveries. With the support of the president of Honduras and the Honduran military, the team’s small A-Star helicopter with British Special Forces soldiers flew into a clearing and began setting up camp. Honduran soldiers set up a second camp close by.
A team of archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists and journalists followed; machete –wielding soldiers clearing the way from the landing zone to the site. Three days into the expedition, they discovered a cache of 52 carved stone artifacts peeking out from beneath the ground. It would be guarded round-the-clock by the Honduran military until months later, when an archeological team commissioned by the government and National Geographic excavated 509 artifacts. Today, the goal is preserving the sites and the surrounding jungle. It is indeed astonishing that in the 21st century, a large-unknown city could still be found in the rainforest. The Honduran government has created the Mosquitia Patrimonial Heritage Preserve to protect the cultural site in the face of deforestation.
Joining Elkins is chocolate maker Denise Castronovo of the Castronovo Chocolate Factory. She brings her “The Lost City, Honduras,” chocolate bar, a winner of numerous awards and a tribute to the Lost City. The indigenous people living nearby in the Gracias a Dios region protect the forest and make a sustainable living as harvesters of wild cacao. The cacao is processed in their village and put on hollowed-out tree logs, called pipantes, for a two-day voyage to the nearest road. Castronovo is the first American craft chocolate maker to make a single-origin chocolate from these remote beans.
You’ll hold your breath and cheer out loud as this intrepid modern-day Indiana Jones follows his dream and helps preserve a part of history for future generations. Proceeds to benefit The Lost City Fund supporting the Kaha Kamasa Foundation in Honduras.