Charlotte Austwick - Explorer of the Natural World, FRGS, SES Rivers Foundation Explorer 2019


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Charlotte graduated from University with a BA in Drama and Classical Archaeology and a MA in Social Anthropology (Specialising in Visual Anthropology).

During her MA she lived and filmed with a community of Maya deep in the Central American rainforest for her research and discovered, what the archaeological remains of Belize, hold for the Maya people of today.

In 2019, she was named the Scientific Exploration Societies River Foundation Explorer for Health and Humanities 2019.

With this award she returned to live with the Maya of Central America to produce educational resources in their native language, explore the surrounding jungle for ancient Maya archaeology and deliver dental hygiene workshops.

She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of The Explorers Club.

In addition she is an author and educator, currently working remotely from a small volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

When she is not exploring, she enjoys boxing and weightlifting.

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Show notes

  • Who is Charlotte

  • Spending time in Central America

  • Living and teaching in the South Atlantic Ocean

  • Growing up in the countryside

  • Her dreams as a little girl

  • Not knowing what she wanted to do with her life

  • Deciding to study Drama and Classical Archaeology

  • Doing her Masters in Social Anthropology (Specialising in Visual Anthropology).

  • What is Anthropology?

  • Deciding to spend time with the Maya people

  • Organising her first expedition at 23 years old

  • Wanting to study the Ancient Maya culture

  • Planning and funding the expedition

  • Making some mistakes on the first expedition

  • Spending a month with the Maya people and what that entailed

  • What a typical day was like

  • Gender roles and how they are changing

  • The importance of family and friends

  • Eco Tourism and the community

  • The languages spoken

  • Working in the film industry and wanting to keep her options open

  • Applying for an expedition to Kenya in 2018 as a filmmaker

  • Magical moments with wildlife while in Kenya

  • What happens with regards to filming and the role of film co-ordinator

  • Advice for aspiring filmmakers

  • The challenges of filming in the heat

  • SES Rivers Foundation Explorer 2019

  • The financial awards available

  • The 2nd expedition to the Maya in early 2020

  • The logistics of planning for a larger expedition

  • Hearing about Covid via the radio while being in the jungle

  • Working with the children and writing down the myths and legends from the culture

  • Working with local members of the community on special projects

  • The loss of the local language

  • Trekking through jungle and swimming in water caves

  • What does adventure and exploration mean

  • Tips and advice for women who want to do more solo adventures

  • The importance of being prepared

  • Giving talks in girls schools and giving advice for girls who want to get into the sciences and engineering

  • What’s next for Charlotte

  • Being interested in Medical Expeditions

  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website www.charlotteaustwick.co.uk

Instagram @charlotteaustwick

Twitter @casa1009

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