Jan was raised in Hoorn, Netherlands, the almost 1,000-year-old town Cape Horn in Tierra del Fuego was named after. Before moving to Amsterdam, Hoorn was for many years the navel of his world, and growing up in that part of Holland means growing up on water. From a young age, Jan liked to handle nearly everything that floats, and he still does. He received all his education in the Netherlands and decided, after graduating in gastronomy, to work as a chef on sailing yachts.
It was thanks to this career in yachting, where Jan sailed mainly on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, that he became fluent in English, Spanish, German and Dutch. All those years spent exploring and visiting numerous countries and islands also triggered a profound interest in island biogeography in Jan. It was this fascination with islands that eventually led him to the Galápagos, and since 2005 he lives in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where he works as a Galápagos Naturalist and scuba instructor.
Jan’s dream is to found a sailing school in Galápagos, through which he can teach the local youth to care for the ocean, by getting comfortable with it. In his spare time you would probably find Jan in the surf, if he’s not baking sourdough – his daughter’s favorite snack.