Venicio "Beny" Emmanuelle Wilson Altamiranda was born in Almirante, province of Bocas del Toro in Western Panama in a house surrounded by beautiful creeks and swamp forests.
It was there where his father and grandfather inspired his interest in "the little animals", as he used to say. Beny began his passion for birds at age 16 when he accidentally got a copy of the newly translated Spanish version of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Panama". Two years later, along with other fellow biology students at the University of Panama, created Grupo Ecologista Vida, a nonprofit group doing environmental education for school kids of the city of Colon.
Beny has worked for most of the major tour operators in Panama and some important companies in the US and Canada. He is an expert in the Darien region and has hiked from Ustupo, in the Caribbean coast, to the Gulf of San Miguel, in the Pacific coast of Panama. Besides hiking and birding, Beny is also an authority in frogs, especially the Dendrobatid poison frogs. For his expertise, Beny has received recognition by film crews from Europe and Asia. He currently has trained guides in several countries of the Caribbean region and in Colombia through programs with Birds Caribbean and the National Audubon Society’s International Alliance Program.
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