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Lenin Villacis

Lenin was born in the capital city of Quito, where he grew up surrounded by the mountains and volcanoes of the Andean region of Ecuador. At age 17, he received a scholarship to study in Mexico, and a few years later traveled to the U.S. and finished college with a degree in Earth sciences. In 1994 he returned to Ecuador to undergo a training course to become a naturalist guide for his incredibly rich and biodiverse home country, and started working in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador.

Two years later, he decided to specialize in a completely different ecosystem, leaving one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, for one of the most unique–Galápagos! In February 1996 he took the naturalist guide course given by the Galápagos National Park service. A few years later, he had the chance to go and work in Prague, Czech Republic, where he helped the development of a tour company offering departures in Europe and South America.

But the Galápagos had gotten under his skin, and one year later he returned to lead groups there and to learn scuba diving, among other wonderful things. Working here has been a big part of his life, and he counts himself so lucky to have seen amazing things both above and below water, during every day spent in the enchanted archipelago. He also has very much enjoyed the opportunity to teach interested travelers about the unique environment that has so captured his imagination.

His eternal travel lust took over once more, and in 2004 he worked for a couple of years leading groups in Peru–another fascinating destination, both from a cultural and natural perspective. In 2006 he completed a master’s program on management of natural resources. Last year he moved to Colombia, where he currently lives with his family, but regularly returns to the Galápagos to work and immerse himself back in these incredible ecosystems.