Forest Alive Naturalist Team
Andrés grew up in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, where he spent his childhood around tropical forests.
His family has been his biggest inspiration for his love for nature. His great uncle Clodomiro Picado discovered Penicillin 13 years before Flemming, developed the anti-venoms for Central American snakes and discovered 150 new species of animals in bromeliad plants. Picado’s work, granted him the title “National Hero”, a Ph.D. “Honoris causa” and to be the picture in the old 2.000 Colones bill of Costa Rica.
Andres´ father is a sports fishing enthusiast and took the whole family on extended fishing camps to share vacations in remote beaches, rivers and lakes. They also participated in the national fishing cups.
His grandfather introduced him to the world of birds as in the old days catching songbirds was the equivalent for birdwatchers love. Keeping birds in cages for their songs is long gone and binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras are they new ways for the birds and nature lover, but the hunting skills come handy.
His mother studied Microbiology and was a plant lover such as his grandmother.
Andres got an honor student academic scholarship to study in the Humboldt School, a German school in Costa Rica, where he graduated from high school.
Convinced about his interest of studying tropical nature as a living, Andrés starts working in eco-tourism by the age of 17. At the same time, he starts his studies to be a Manager of Natural Resources in the Distance University of Costa Rica (UNED), where he finished his Bachelor’s degree.
As a naturalist interpreter, Andrés has spent since 1994 in rainforests, cloud forests, páramo forests, rain shadow forests, Dwarf forests, Dry forests and oceans of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.
Andres enjoys a variety of outdoor activities like trekking, caving, tree climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, white-water kayaking and scuba diving.
Andrés has led multiple mountaineering expeditions to Mt. Chirripó (12.600 ft.), highest peak of Costa Rica as well as to climb volcanoes and mountains and rainforest extended expeditions.
He has developed, designed and built canopy research and tourism systems and helped develop the national safety standards for zip lines.
Andres scouted and worked as film and photo assistant for researchers and documentary film companies like Herzog Naturfilm, National Geographic, BBC, CNN, ZDF (Germany), ORF (Austria) and more.
Currently, he lives in the Cloudforest of Monteverde where he guides natural history day and night hikes and gives lectures and photography workshops. He also organizes and guides tours and expeditions for families, adventurers, scientists, naturalists and people who want to experience the culture and forests of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua alive!