Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Let our expert staff weave a narrative as we sail along the river and, turn what would otherwise be merely a string of extraordinary days, into an immersive experience of the rivers’ natural history. Benefit from their specialized knowledge of our Guatemala and Belize travel guides—geology, history, photography, and more—and enjoy their company on hikes or over a drink or dinner. 


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Amanda Clare

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Amanda always followed her own path and pursued whatever piqued her interests and pushed her limits. She earned two B.A. degrees, one in history, one international studies, from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she was commissioned into the United States Army, and while stationed overseas, Amanda traveled extensively and cultivated her love of adventure and exploration.  

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  • Cindy Manning

    Expedition Leader
    Born in Lima, Peru, of North American parents, Cindy and her family subsequently lived in several South American and European countries with a couple stops in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy received a degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Afterwards, Cindy spent a year and a half teaching science in the Western Province of Kenya, East Africa. 

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  • Cristian Moreno

    Undersea Specialist
    Cristian is a Panamanian born in Chile.  He grew up in Panama City until the age of 19 when he returned to Chile to go to college where he received a degree in metallurgic civil engineering. Since 1995 he has been working as a freelance naturalist in Panama.  Specializing in bird watching and ecology, he also has a passion for indigenous cultures, hiking and trekking.  He is a certified scuba diver and is often found exploring coral reefs along the Caribbean coast of Panama.

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  • Dexter Sear

    Video Chronicler
    Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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  • José Calvo

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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  • Maguil Céspedes

    Naturalist
    Although Maguil was born in San Jose, he was raised in the countryside of Costa Rica, and it was this experience that provided him with a deep knowledge of and a profound love for the rural life of Central America.  It was this passion for nature that led Maguil to study biology at the University of Costa Rica, where he received his master’s degree in 2002. His thesis explored the genetic structure of big leaf mahogany, an endangered species of tree that is commercially extinct in much of Central America.

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  • Max Vindas

    Extension Leader
    Known for his passion for nature and dedication to conservation and ecotourism, Max Vindas has been guiding natural history trips in Costa Rica since 1993. On his first trip to the rainforest at age eight, Max realized his love for the outdoors and wildlife observation. Since then, he spends as much time as he can in the forest, sharing his knowledge with visitors to his country.

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  • Michelle Silsbee

    Wellness Specialist
    Hailing from Michigan, Michelle became interested in Massage Therapy while studying sports medicine and anthropology. She has been a Michigan-licensed massage therapist, bodyworker, and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine since 2004. She received her education from the Michigan Institute Of Healing Arts and Sciences and still continues to learn. She has been trained in Swedish-relaxation, sports massage, myofascial deep tissue release, touch for health, acupressure, aromatherapy, reflexology, hot cold stone, and bodywork techniques. She also has an associate’s degree.

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