International Expeditions has selected local naturalist Expedition Leaders to escort and lead our Nicaragua ecotourism expedition groups. These guides will be joined by local guides at Selva Negra and at each park. Please note, no bird book currently exists for Nicaragua, and when you travel to Nicaragua with IE, you may help our guides catalog new species to help create this first volume.

Juan Carlos Mendoza

Juan Carlos was the first man to receive a Nicaragua tour guide license, (Nicaragua's Tour Guide License # 1), and was a born birdwatcher. He is constantly looking for new information on Nicaragua’s birds and nature. Juan Carlos’ in-depth knowledge of Nicaragua has made him a source for publications like the Telegraph (UK), Recommend magazine, Washington Post and Outside magazine. Juan Carlos is part of Aves de Nicaragua (Nicaragua NGO Nicaragua Birds) organization and is always looking for new bird species to enrich the country’s exiting list. As part of his training, Juan Carlos has studied in Costa Rica at the Monteverde Reserve, Carara Reserve and INBIO The National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica.

Edgar Castañeda

Edgar studied Ecology and Natural Resources of Central America at the University of Nicaragua before pursuing post-graduate work in Chile and Spain. He has more than 13 years of experience with conservation programs and the handling of natural resources in Nicaragua, including designing a training program for fishermen and fishing companies along the Pacific coast. Edgar has worked on teams that created the first marine park on the Pacific coast and made the first map of coral reefs off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. Not only is he a Dive master and rescue diver, Edgar also is an avid birder. After living at Chocoyero Reserve helping to compile the park’s first bird list, Edgar now serves on the board of Aves de Nicaragua (Nicaragua Birds) that unites Nicaraguan birdwatchers.

Ramón Estrada

Ramon's love for nature started at Mombacho Volcano National Park as one of the local guides. During his seven years of working and living in the beautiful cloud forest he enjoyed many training courses on nature and especially the Bird Watching Monitoring System (MOSI) sponsored by USAID. By 2010 he started to work as a specialized guide. Ramon also trained with important biologist and zoologist to learn about forest and wildlife conservation. Today he is a highly trained and passionate naturalist guide, eager to share his knowledge and love for the wildlife and culture of his country. Volcanism is another passion for's not strange at all to find him hiking any of Nicaragua's great volcanos.