When you are blessed enough to have your hobby become your job then you have found the job for you. My years of guiding in Costa Rica started back in 1999 where I trained on the river Pacuare. After many of months on the Pacuare of broken Spanish, flipped rafts, and more nicknames than plant species in Costa Rica I decided I wanted to expand my guiding skills. Fortunately in Costa Rica being a naturalist guide is made easy through many different courses. My course was done at the Institute National for Bio-diversity (INBIO) which on a side note if I was Bill Gates I would give half my fortune to them. They are a hard working institute that does not get the funds they need.
After guiding for a few years in Costa Rica and getting every certificate you can imagine from rope courses, swiftwater rescue, and many others that I did not get in college I decided to take my learning to the US during the slow seasons of Costa Rica where I was able to build my resume by taking more advanced courses.
One of the most rewarding parts about guiding in Costa Rica has been the fellow guides and friends I have made. It took awhile to get accepted on the river and you surely have to earn your keep in a macho type of profession that some guides take it to be. But after awhile many respected me for the tours I brought down, the work I gave, and the commitment to environmental issues. My only crutch in the ecotourism industry would be that I enjoy guiding so much that I often do it myself when possible. This is not to say I do not contract locals in local areas whenever possible.
Guiding in a place as diverse as Costa Rica makes every trip a new learning experience along with a new adventure.