José Guerrero Vela is an Ecuadorian permanent resident of the Galapagos. His mother was born in the islands and his grandfather was one of the first generation of teachers in the Galapagos, which has always inspired him to promote education as the main path to protect the archipelago.
He became a Galapagos naturalist guide in 2008. He has since been part of the Australian Awards Scholarship program which allowed him to complete an interdisciplinary Master´s degree in Applied Anthropology and Environment at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He has represented the Galapagos in various international events in Australia, Canada, India, Bolivia and Germany. His research on the relationship between humans and sea lions in the Galapagos achieved the prize for best master student paper at the International Symposium of Natural Resources and Society in Hanover, Germany.
In Galapagos, Jose has worked with the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Galapagos National Park Service, WWF and the Galapagos Governing Council, in several projects related to sustainable development and community-based conservation. As part of the Lindblad-National Geographic team, he travelled to Washington DC to be trained in the National Geographic headquarters as a Certified Photo Instructor. Additionally, he is also part of a team of naturalists that became Certified National Geographic Field Educators, which increased his interest in outdoors learning and educational strategies to engage with families and groups of all ages.