I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where I lived with a father from an inland rural village in mainland Portugal and a mother from an island of the Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I spent all my childhood incredible vacations going back and forward between father’s village and mother’s island.
I studied Applied Biology at Lisbon University and finished my degree working at the Oceanography Department of the Azores University in 1999, when I chose Faial Island to live. In 2000 I switched willingly from marine research to tourism and worked in whale watching companies on Pico and Faial islands for a couple of years. At that time, I decided to pursue the field of education, and went for the degree of Teaching in Biology and Geology, which I finished in 2005.
By September 2005, I started working on Pico Island with the regional environmental NGO, Os Montanheiros, which is dedicated to the management of caves and natural heritage awareness. There I coordinated the services for environmental education on Pico Island (named Ecoteca do Pico), working on several international projects and more local ones, such as the awareness of local schools about the 2004 World Heritage designation by UNESCO of the Vineyard Culture Landscape of Pico Island.
In 2008 I obtained a Post-Graduate certificate in Nature Conservation Management from the Azores University and then in 2011 I was invited to be the Coordinator of the Environmental Education Department of the newly created public company for Nature Conservation Management of the nine Island Natural Parks of the Azores, where I worked until 2014. I started working directly for the Azores Government, in the Services for Nature Conservation and Environmental Awareness, based on Pico Island. Here I became even more interested in heritage interpretation, since I started being a trainer for the courses of Azores Natural Parks Guides, which I did since their first introduction, in 2015.
Since 2012 I have been a volunteer member of the educational staff of the Azores Geopark, a UNESCO Global Geopark and also of the NGO, Os Montanheiros, where I have been the president of the Pico group since 2017. In both I focus on geoeducation for schools and for tourist companies.
I love communicating, teaching and helping people to create connections between nature and local culture. I am even the co-author of the book, A historia do Zeca Garro, a children’s book where the main character is a Cory’s Shearwater, a migratory protected marine bird species. I am always looking to improve myself and learn new tools, and this was how I found Interpret Europe. As an IE Country Coordinator I am very excited to find new members for our network and help spread the message of this great approach on first-hand experiences for visitors and finding deeper meanings in heritage.