Xavier began his “love affair with the ocean”, as he describes it, when he was five years old, while spending summers with his family near the ocean. He learned how to SCUBA dive at 17 and trained as a commercial diver at 20, working for a while as an off-shore oilfield diver. In the early 1980s he began to study biology and finished his degree in biology from the Universidad de Guayaquil in 1990, the same year he decided to take the Galápagos Naturalist Guide course. After that, Xavier worked as a naturalist and divemaster in the Galápagos Archipelago for several years. An avid SCUBA diver, he trained to become a certified SCUBA diving instructor in 1993, to help impart his passion for the seas.
In 1998 Xavier decided to further his education and travelled to Scotland where he pursued an M.Sc. in aquatic pathobiology at the University of Stirling. Upon returning from Scotland and working as head researcher for a shrimp hatchery in mainland Ecuador for a year, he decided to return to the Galápagos to work as a divemaster onboard a live-aboard dive boat.
Since the early 1980s he has been involved in nature photography and has had several expositions in Guayaquil. When not working as a naturalist, Xavier does free-lance photography, reads biology books and keeps SCUBA diving.