Venner joined with the AFAR organization and led a field crew at a Maya temple complex in Belize. The site, Cahal Pech, consisted of two pyramids (both near 25 m in height), and approximately three dozen buildings, all dating from the 10th century B.C.E. to its abandonment in the 10th century A.D.
The archaeological field crew consisted of four dozen high school students, as well as dedicated professional archaeologists. Venner co-directed seven high school students, their goal to uncover the base of a temple wall.
The archaeologists and students lived in a nearby hotel, eating breakfast and dinner in the hotel's cafeteria, and lunch at the temple site. They visited other Maya sites on the weekends, even traveling into Guatemala to view Tikal.