Meet the Mashpi Team: Anderson Medina – Biologist
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 21 years’ old and was born Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas but grew up in the community of Pachijal, near Mashpi.
How did you come to work at Mashpi?
They needed someone to be Carlos Morochz’s assistant. The guide Néstor Paladines is a friend of mine and he told me about the position, and now, through the love I put into all my work, I have been able to climb up through the ranks.
What makes a great guide at Mashpi?
The love and respect that we have towards nature, as with this we can explain and incentivise people more about the issue of conservation around the world. Respect and care for our guests is so important. Each day we meet people from all over the world; sharing experiences and anecdotes is so interesting for them and for us.
Do you have a goal as a guide here?
One day I’d like to be a biologist who really helps to conserve these forests, and who discovers new species that have yet to be found in Mashpi. To make Mashpi even more interesting than it already is.
We have seen some of the amazing photos you have taken of the Mashpi Reserve; is wildlife photography an interest of yours? Have you ever taken photography classes?
I love taking photos – it’s one of my passions as it’s a lovely way to explain about nature. Thanks to my work I have had the opportunity to meet great photographers who always give me advice and tips about photography.
What’s the most amazing thing that you have photographed?
I really like the one of the snake that I took and one of the stars with the mountain; it was night and I just remember the magic of the Mashpi forests. It was the night that I saw the most shooting stars I’d ever seen.
How do your perspectives about nature differ to those of your family?
From my point of view, I absolutely love nature. When I was small I always dreamed of working with supporting conservation and I feel so happy that my dream has come true. I’ve never liked the maltreatment of animals, or hunting, or felling trees.
My family also really likes nature. One anecdote that I have is that ten years ago, my father was a hunter, but seeing that it was something that I so passionately objected to, he left it. And now he is the greatest forest conservationist out there.
What makes Mashpi such a special place?
The nature here in these forests is very well protected and we have a high rate of endemism. And of course, the love and determination that the people that work here put in so that each guest’s stay is unforgettable. Because what we do is not only work but something that we like and that we are proud to do.