Born and raised in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada mountains just below the entrance to Yosemite National Park, Micaela “Mica” Schmidt fell in love with the outdoors. At the age four her grandfather gave her a pony which she mounted with enthusiasm only immediately to be knocked off and her arm broken. Today, one can see in the photo albums from that time, Mica riding a black and white pony with a cast on her arm and huge smile on her face. It is with this same enthusiasm that she approaches all activities, challenges, and adventures. Having first traveled to the tropics in 2000, and falling in love with the region, she was determined to move here and work in the field of tropical ecology. After extensive study through the Institute of Tropical Ecology and Conservation, and complete immersion in Panamanian culture, Mica is a sought after certified interpretive and naturalist guide in Panama’s eco-tourism. Mica believes that the more closely visitors are able to connect with a destination, the more valuable an affect it will have on their lives. Through exposure they will come to care about and protect our planet and its inhabitants for future exploration.