More than twenty residents of the villages of Monteverde and Santa Elena in Costa Rica take researchers and tourists daily into the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve to study and experience the unique cloud forest environment. Armed with rain gear, binoculars, and keen senses of sight, smell, and hearing, the guides lead visitors into the forest to explore the magnificent flora and fauna hidden within. These guides are expert naturalists, many of whom have lived their entire lives in or near these forests. They are organized formally into the Monteverde Guides Association, and can be contacted for information or tours through the offices of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Below is a quick biography of each guide that is working to support this project.
Adrian Mendez C. (Tel: 2645-5282). Adrian specializes in birdwatching and natural history. He was born and raised in the area of Monteverde and has 16 years of experience working in ecotourism. He participated in all the Christmas bird counts in the Monteverde area. He works doing Night tours around this area as well. Adrian has the ICT License to work at any other place in Costa Rica.
Danilo Brenes Ramirez (Tel: 2645-7145) Danilo started his career as a research assistant in the study of fruit eating birds and their use of forest fragments. He has also been part of the team studying the Three-wattled Bellbird since 1992. Danilo guides in the Monteverde zone and his walks are about the natural history of the forest.
Eliamar Rojas Cespedes (Tel: 2645-5675). This is Eliamar's fourth year of guiding in the Monteverde Preserve and other protected areas. Before this, he worked in the Preserve aiding tourists. In addition to guiding, he has participated in bird censuses and reforestation projects.
Erick Bello Carranza (2645-5291) Erick has spent ten years studying the flora of the Monteverde area. He is also highly knowledgeable about birds and other aspects of the cloud forest ecosystem, and has many years of experience guiding for the Natural History Program of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve and in forests throughout the Monteverde zone.
Giovanni Bello (Tel: 2645-5291) Giovanni graduated from the Technology Institute of Costa Rica in Forestry Engineering in 1978. He has worked for several companies on primary forest management, soil use capacity, land use planning, and reforestation projects. He served as the Director of the Monteverde Preserve for 8 years from 1983-1991 where he established the Natural History Program and the Environmental Education Program. He then worked as the Director of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest in San Ramón from 1991-1997. In Monteverde, he studied Golden Toad Ecology and Fruiting Patterns of the Ficus Tree. This research is supported by Standford University, California. Also, he studied bird migration and communication with the help of the University of Minnesota and is one of the contributors to A guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. His expertise is in birds, plants, and tree and animal-plant relationships. He has worked as a free lance naturalist for the last 15 years in Costa Rica and Panama.
Jorge R. Quesada Monge (Tel: 2645-5492, 2645-5546, Pager:2226-5656): Jorge, also known as Koki Porras, was born in Monteverde in July 1968. He has 9 years of guiding experience in the forests of Monteverde. His specialties include natural history, symbiotic relationships in the forest, and birds of Costa Rica.
Melvin Leiton Mendez (Tel: 2645-5198): Melvin is from the village of San Luis, located just below Monteverde. He now has 4 years of guiding experience and enjoys taking people through the forest.
Pedro Bosques Bermudez (Tel: 2645-5675): Pedro started guiding in the Monteverde Preserve 10 years ago. He now guides private groups and is a professional guide for the travel agency, Horizontes. He has research experience for two projects in Monteverde: the study of the Three-wattled Bellbird and a study of bird community changes in the Monteverde zone over the last 25 years.
Ricardo Guindon Standing (Tel. 2645-5085). I was born in the Monteverde Quaker community in l961, where I studied through high school at the Monteverde Friends School. I studied 2 years at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, U.S.A. where I took Ornithology and Ecological Biology. I returned to Monteverde in 1986 and began to work as a naturalist guide since 1987. My favorite subject is birds but I enjoy all aspects of nature. I've guided for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, for Horizontes Nature Tours and have guided groups of students from various North American universities. I also guide Night Tours since 1997.
Samuel Arguedas Trejos (Tel: 2645-5142) Samuel is from Monteverde and has been a natural history guide for 7 years. His walks include information about everything that the forest has to offer but Samuel is also a specialist in plants. He is self-taught in many areas, including English. Samuel leads an ambitious reforestation effort of the deforested Pacific slope of Monteverde.