Naturalist guides from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Walking amidst the cloud forest in the Monteverde Biological Reserve is a wonderful and unique experience; the sensation with each step is indescribable, being surrounded by exuberant vegetation, birds, nature, biodiversity give the sensation of being in paradise. But there is a better way to improve this experience:walkingalong the trails in the company of a specialized naturalist guide. It is much more gratifying sharing with a native passionate and knowledgeable person of the area, . Don´t let escape the details that you may not discover if you don´t explore the forest with one of this guides :
Sergio Vargas Mata
He is 30 years old born and raised in Monteverde, went to the Monteverde Friend’s School where he learned English and finished high school at the Santa Elena’s public High school, is currently studying Management and protection of Natural Resources at UNED Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
Sergio has been working for the Monteverde Cloud forest Preserve since 2010; first on the research area for three and a half years he helped many researchers on their studies that involved plants, frogs, and birds, including the projects that the research program has by itself. And also worked half a year as a park ranger, walking on all the surrounding of the forest as a park ranger has given him the opportunity to see how wild this jungle is specially when he was attacked by two wild pigs or Collared Peccaries once and had to climb a tree waiting for a long time until he was sure they were gone.
Now he is part of the Naturalist guides, one of his passions is being in contact with nature, he enjoys every part of the forest being amazed by so many things that the nature has to share just by paying attention to the bigger world there is outside of our heads you can find many secrets out there.
Age: 30 years
Oscar Castillo Mejía
Is a 27 years old young man with 7 years living in Monteverde, also native to Tilarán; he has 5 years of experience guiding in the forest.
Oscar has a very interesting way of looking at his job: for him, the cloud forest is his office and every day is different, each person is different. He enjoys a lot sharing all his knowledge and transmitting the facts of the Monteverde cloud forest. Oscar has it very clear, that the vast majority of tourists that visit us come from very big cities, with cement all around them, traffic noise, some with smog and that in the forest (his office) they submerge in a very healthy environment, surrounded by the purest air that could exist, where the elements of rain, plants, animals, fog, call of the birds conjugate, and where they disconnect from their own reality, which allows them to truly enjoy the moment. Here is where he feels more proud of his office.
His passion is achieving that his customers may enjoy and admire the “silence” of a heavy rain, interrupted by the powerful sound of a howler monkey decorated with the elegance of a quetzal, and the curiosity of a coatimundi.
He likes birds and plants, and he also knows that his office will always teach him something new; even in his time off he likes to observe nature.
His fondest memoriesof clients is when he sees their surprised face while explaining interesting facts of the forest, like that the beak of a hummingbird might change just to access a flower or even a flower can modify itself to be accessible to a particular hummingbird;as well as watchingsome clients enjoying the very simple things of life like feeling the rain falling over their bodies, something that happenson a daily basis here in Monteverde.
Age : 27 years. He likes to practice languages, speaks English and soon wants to learn German.
Javier Ortiz Quesada
Has been livingin Monteverde since he was 13 years old.
Native from San Pedro de Poás in Alajuela, he has 7 years of experience being a naturalist guide.
Javier feels that his passion has always been to teach and learn, and every time he feels that he can teach more and more, he keeps learning new things to achieve this. He enjoys a lot sharingeven the most common activities or events for the people of Monteverde with the tourists: it fills him with satisfaction. Javier also enjoys learning from each and every client with every interaction he holds.
He never says to himself that he can´t answer the doubts and questions that his clients ask.
His nicest memory with clients is when he could show them a puma (mountain lion) and two cubs that were sleeping on a side of the trail; he discovered themalong with other 20 people. Many people came to see them as they were asleep for about 3 hours.
For Javier, entering the forest without a naturalist guide means missing a lot of things, among them: information, knowledge, appreciation, and the transmission of the passion for nature.
He loves to teach and learn
Ricardo is a native of Monteverde, son of the Quaker founders that colonized the area in 1951. He is 52 years old and studied Ornithology at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He began offering guided tours in 1987 and has 26 years of enjoying this opportunity to share the beauty of the Cloud Forest with the visitors to the area. Having had the chance to study in the United States and to travel through various countries during that time, Ricardo appreciates the great biodiversity that this mountain range offers and, specially, the level of endemism that makes this forest a unique place in the world to visit. The group that most interests him is the bird world that he began to enjoy since 1976, however, all that has to do with the creation fascinates him. It is his passion to teach to and discover with the visitors the multiple organisms that make up this forest and to observe how they adapt or are influenced by the many changes to which our planet is being submitted.
Lots of memories living in the cloud forest, the most important was showing his first clients his last sightings of Golden Toads back in 1987. He remembers not even taking notes since they showed up at every beginning of the rainy season! HeI also enjoyed seeing the first returns of the Spider Monkey to the zone after at least 30 years of absence. He has had the excitement of seeing Puma and Margay on night tours and, one afternoon, he saw an Ocelot crossing the Camino Trail. But he also enjoys the daily sharing of anecdotes of him having grown up in a Cloud Forest and to hear the laughs of visitors imagining what it was like to meet up with a porcupine in a strangler fig.