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California Condor Reintroduction Project Coordinator

Catalina Porras, Caty, as her friends call her, is a passionate woman dedicated to nature, who has spent the last 21 years of her life working tirelessly to conserve the majestic California Condor in Mexico.

Heir story is marked by unwavering determination and commitment. Since she was a child, Catalina has felt a special connection with nature. She used to spend hours exploring the forests and rivers near her home, fascinated by the variety of wildlife she found there. Her passion for wildlife flourished in every corner of her being, and she knew that her purpose in life was to protect and preserve nature's treasures.

Catalina studied biochemistry and eventually began working with captive birds. In 2002, she embarked on a challenging adventure to return the California Condor to its ancestral habitat, a species declared extinct in the wild in the 1980s. 

The first condors were released in a Natural Protecte Area, the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park, in Baja California, Mexico. Although the task was titanic and the obstacles seemed insurmountable, her unwavering faith and innate scientific curiosity pushed her forward. At the beginning, Catalina faced extreme difficulties: she lived for several years in tents and a modest trailer. These precarious conditions did not undermine her determination, but rather fueled the fire of her commitment even more. Catalina woke up every day hoping to make a difference and rebuild a home for these majestic, endangered birds.

Over the years, Catalina has faced the loneliness of long days on top of the mountains, studying the behavior of condors and fighting the threats these birds face. She has dedicated countless hours to educating local communities, sharing her love and knowledge of these magnificent birds and their vital role in the ecosystem. 

During the 21 years that the Reintroduction Program has existed, Catalina and Juan Vargas have faced numerous challenges, particularly the lack of funds, which has made their work especially difficult. However, Catalina and Juan have continued to work with tireless determination and perseverance, and their efforts have paid off: today the population of California condors will continue to grow and thrive in Mexico.

Despite the sacrifices and difficulties she has faced, Catalina has found happiness in every small achievement. Every condor born in the wild, every protected nest and every child who smiles when watching these majestic birds, are victories that fill her heart with joy and satisfaction. Today, Catalina Porras continues her tireless work in the Reintroduction of the California Condor in Mexico. Catalina is more than a scientist, she is a beacon of hope for those who believe in the transformative force of dedication and passion. Her legacy will transcend the barriers of time, inspiring future generations to embrace nature and fight for its preservation.


Field Leader of the California Condor Reintroduction Project

Juan Vargas, Juan Cóndor, as he is known locally, possesses an intrepid spirit and love for nature. He has spent the last 22 years of his life to the noble task of reintroducing the ajestic California Condor to Mexico. His story is a testament to adventure, passion and unmatched skills.

From a very young age, Juan grabbed his backpack and went in search of adventures in the wild: climbing challenging mountains, rappelling on dizzying cliffs and diving in the depths of the ocean, there is no limit to his skills and his thirst for adventure.

In 2002, together with Catalina Porras, he accepted the challenge of returning the California Condor to its natural habitat in Mexico and dedicated his life to that goal. The reintroduction of the California Condor was not an easy task, but Juan embraced each challenge with enthusiasm and skill. His knowledge of climbing and rappelling are invaluable in accessing the cliffs where the condors nest. With skill and bravery, he ascended to dizzying heights, always ensuring that the condors received the best start in their new lives.

In addition to his physical abilities, Juan is an extraordinary storyteller. There is a story of every trip and every expedition; His exciting and vivid stories take people on an imaginary journey through lush forests, scorching deserts, and blue skies, awakening in them a deeper love and respect for the natural world.

Over the years, Juan has worked tirelessly in collaboration with scientists, conservationists, and local communities to achieve success in the reintroduction of the California Condor. His skills have been extremely useful in ensuring adequate food supplies for the captive birds. Through his dedication and passion, Juan has contributed significantly to the conservation of this emblematic species. He has proven that a love of nature and adventurous skills can make a difference in protecting endangered wildlife.

But Juan is not only a passionate adventurer and conservationist, he is also a generous and kind soul. He is always willing to share his knowledge and experiences with others, inspiring them to embrace the beauty of nature and become conservation advocates.

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