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I have been in close contact with nature since I was a kid so when the time came to decide about my career path, I was sure that I wanted to study Biology. Unsurprisingly during my first year of University I discovered that Biology was, indeed, my passion.


Since the first year in the University in 2004, I started to be volunteer for the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology to begin to be involved in the scientific process. I felt like I was in paradise, taking my classes and attending courses taught by international researchers. Although I found my passion, I felt that I was missing something. I discovered that my scientific career needed to have a social component. I couldn´t understand how we could hope to conduct successful science without the involvement of the people living in the places used for our research. As a result, I made sure that every science project I worked on from that point forward had a strong social component.


I would then join the Mesoamerican Society for Biology Conservation, participate in several other international courses, and of course finish my thesis and finally graduating. At the same time, I was also carrying out volunteer work and winning internships in different biological areas to allow me to find what path in biology I wanted to take. These projects include work in Marine Biology, Mangroves, Phycology, Mammals, Birds, Bats, Environmental Education, etc.

Bats emerge from limestone cave at dusk, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan, Mexico, by Kevin Scafer

In 2013, I received a call from one of my friends from ‘The Bat’s Conservation Program of El Salvador’ where I had previously worked asking whether I would be interested in going to Mexico to work with bats. Apparently, this unknown organization to me at the time called Operation Wallacea was in need of a well experienced bat surveyor who spoke English to take up a last minute opening. The information I received was limited, but the idea of a new adventure was too exciting to pass by even if I all know was that I had to get to a town called Xpujil (which I didn’t know how to pronounce).


Those 2 months in the Mexican Mayan Forest working with bats, changing camps every week or so with such an extraordinary staff team was the best experience of my life! I felt I belonged to that forest, to those communities, to Opwall. Life changed for me personally in 2014 and unfortunately, I couldn’t be back in the field at this time but kept in close contact with Opwall staying involved as much as possible. In 2017, I started my amazing new adventure as a Logistics Manager in Calakmul México. It has been so fulfilling and by far the hardest work I have ever done! This year one staff member asked me: “Why you keep coming? Why you keep doing this titanic work?”. I immediately replied: “because I love what I do, my Mexican team: Caroline, Joto, and Kathy, are more than coworkers, they are my friends. The communities are my family, this forest is my home, and nowhere have I felt more at home than Xpujil” (which I now know how to pronounce!).


If you join an Opwall Expedition, I personally guarantee you will have a life changing experience! You just need to arrive; we will take care of the rest!!!

Calakmul Ruins in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, by Carlos Carias

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Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
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