Rafa brings to his guiding and excellent academic background and a wide range of experience in the field of natural history interpretation, education, conservation and sustainable development. A botanist by profession, Rafa has written a number of publications including a Manual of the Flora of Costa Rica (a project of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the National Museum of Costa Rica) annotated checklists, interpretive trails guides for lodges and reserves, as well as training manuals, scripts and other texts. He is an expert in the Caribbean coast ecosystems and waterways near Tortuguero. Rafa also has related administrative experience, having spent two years as the Administrator of Mawamba Lodge on Tortuguero Canals.
In addition to his expertise, an outgoing personality and genuine love of working with people have contributed greatly to Rafa’s long and successful guiding career, which began in 1989 as a part time job. Today, he and his wife run a farm where they produce oyster mushrooms and avocados. He also developed and directs the Tasbayam Conservation Association.