Venicio "Beny" Emmanuelle Wilson Altamiranda was born in Almirante, province of Bocas del Toro in Western Panama in a house surrounded by beautiful creeks and swamp forests. It was there where his father and grandfather inspired his interest in "the little animals", as he used to say.
Beny discovered his passion for birds at age sixteen when he fortuitously received a copy of the newly translated Spanish version of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Panama." Two years later, along with fellow biology students attending the University of Panama, he created Grupo Ecologista Vida, a non-profit organization conducting environmental education programs for elementary students in the city of Colon. He is currently a volunteer for Fundacion Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann, Panama Audubon Society, and CEASPA. As one of Panama’s most reputable certified interpretive and naturalist guides, Beny has worked for many top-tier tour operators. He is an expert in the Darien region and has led treks from Ustupo, on the Caribbean coast, to the Gulf of San Miguel, on the Pacific side of Panama. Besides hiking and birding, Beny is also an authority on frogs, with expert knowledge of the Dendrobatid poison dart frogs.