Our Naturalist and Interpretive Guides
Isthmian Adventures proudly employs some of the best nature and culture interpreters in the country. Our guides are not only experts in natural history but also in the rich history and culture of the Isthmus.
Let us introduce you to the Isthmian Adventures Naturalists and Interpretive Guides:
Diversity is not only found in the rainforests and coral reefs of Panama, but also in its people. Christian Gernez was born in the town of Chitre in central Panama, to a Panamanian mother and a French father, and is a perfect example of the cultural mix that has characterized Panama over the past 500 years. With a childhood spent largely outdoors in the country side, he developed a passion for nature. Over the years he has participated in several wildlife conservation projects and held a variety of interesting jobs, including that of a professional scuba diver where he monitored the migration of Hammerhead sharks in Caribbean waters.
Christian is passionate about the relationships between creatures within an ecosystem and understands that connecting people with our environment is integral to conservation. A bird is not just a bird, but a complex creature with a special connection to its environment.
Today, Christian can be found in a mangrove, snorkeling a coral reef, or exploring a forest ecosystem and sharing unique life changing experiences with those he encounters.
Venicio “Beny” Wilson
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 discovered his passion for birds at age sixteen when he fortuitously received a copy of the newly translated Spanish version of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Panama." Two years later, along with fellow biology students attending the University of Panama, he created Grupo Ecologista Vida, a non-profit organization conducting environmental education programs for elementary students in the city of Colon. He is currently a volunteer for Fundacion Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann, Panama Audubon Society, and CEASPA. As one of Panama’s most reputable certified interpretive and naturalist guides, Beny has worked for many top-tier tour operators. He is an expert in the Darien region and has led treks from Ustupo, on the Caribbean coast, to the Gulf of San Miguel, on the Pacific side of Panama. Besides hiking and birding, Beny is also an authority on frogs, with expert knowledge of the Dendrobatid poison dart frogs.
Cris was born in Chile, but his Panamanian parents brought him to live to the tropics in Panama at a very short age. His love for nature started at the age of 10 when he joined the Pathfinder's Club. Receiving several honors in outdoor activities, ecology, camping and others specialties he soon became a Master Guide. He grew fond of the tropics biodiversity and was soon guiding relatives and friends through the jungles of his country.
At the age of 19 he returned to Chile to go to college and returned to Panama with a degree in Metallurgic Civil Engineering. His passion for nature was always stronger so he decided to go back to college and take an Associate degree in Tourism, a Bachelor degree in Touristic Business Administration, a Post Grade in Management, and a MBA in Human Resources and holds a Post-grade degree in Higher Education. Since 1995 he has been working as a Naturalist Guide exploring with guests all around the country. When he is not guiding, he teaches different subjects related to tourism, conservation and tropical ecology in several Universities in Panama.
Specializing in bird watching and ecology, he also has a passion for indigenous cultures, History, hiking and trekking. He is a certified scuba diver and is often found exploring coral reefs along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama.
Chrys is fond of Panama's natural heritage and is always happy to show the great biodiversity of that it hides!
Yesenia “JJ” Yepez
Originally born in Venezuela, South America, Yesenia well known as Yeye or JJ (in English) I have been living half of my life in Venezuela and the other half in Panama. I moved to Panama in 1998 as my mother is Panamanian and I finished High School here. As soon as I got to Panama I felt in love with it and I was committed to learn how to be a real Panamanian. I love the friendliness of the panameños and I decided to read and research a lot in regards the History of Panama, The Panama Canal and the Natural resources the country has. I started working in travel in the early 2000s, and the experience has been great for me. I learned English by myself and I keep learning. I tour guided groups coming in Cruises, Cultural Experiences with Indigenous Communities, Historical Tours, Nature Oriented Experiences, Visit to Archeological Sites of Panama and visit to our Panamanian Entrepreneurs (such as visit to hat makers, Pollera our National Dress and so much more).
I love Panama’s nature, and I enjoy going to explore the mountainsides, rivers, and trails during my days off with my best friend and son. I also enjoy the opportunity to show people the real Panama, without boundaries. As a Tour Guide, I have learned from many different people, both my co-workers and my travelers, and every experience with them has been totally different and enriching. I like to show to our travelers the Biodiversity Panama has. Starting with real contact with the Panamanians of day by day, tasting delicious Panamanian food dishes, strolling in beautiful colonial sites, dancing our typical music, and experience the unique sounds of the rainforest. I like to show that Panama is far beyond than a Panama Canal.
Jean Maurice “Moondog” Posner
From the Caribbean to Europe and back to the Neotropics, Jean Maurice Posner, or "Moondog" as his friends know him, has studied the natural history of many regions of the world, lending to impressive interpretive skills. From a multicultural and multilingual family, his passion for guiding has not diminished in the almost 40 years he has dedicated to his career. As a biologist, he has assisted on expeditions in the jungles of Venezuela and Brazil for several years. His passions extend to photography and writing, sharing good times with everyone through his great sense of humor. Moondog sees an opportunity to discover something new around every corner.