Since he was born, Fidelino Jiménez (Igua) was surrounded by nature and birds. But his real interest in becoming a naturalist guide started after a job at the Parque Natural Metropolitano, a natural park located in Panama City. Igua was born in the indigenous territory (or comarca) of Madugandi, which is one of the three territories of the Guna community, one of the largest indigenous communities in Panama. Guna’s most distinctive characteristic is that women dress very colorfully and make molas, which are designs made out of pieces of fabric, that are inspired by nature forms. Madugandi comarca is located on the eastern end of the country along the Panamerican Highway, 3 hours from Panama City. As a child, Igua used to go hunting with his dad, and even though none of his parents had any formal education, they encouraged him to study hard, and that´s why Igua moved closer to Panama City to go to high school. After that, he won a scholarship to go study in the United States, where he spent two years, and that´s where he met Carlos Bethancourt, our Canopy Family head guide! At the age of 20, Igua spoke Guna, Spanish and English.

When he came back from the United States, he started studying at the University of Panama, to become an English professor. He also got that job at the Parque Metropolitano, where he started guiding, and noticed a lot of the visitors asked him about the Panama Canal and Old Panama City. He started learning on his own, and nowadays he is a skilled naturalist guide, but also an expert on the history of Panama. After a while, Igua became a freelance guide and he worked with Carlos once in a while, and this year, he was officially hired by the Canopy Family. Igua is proud of his roots and passionate about birds. His favorite bird is the King Vulture, because, in his culture, it is related to intelligence, as they are the first ones to eat. Also, it is a beautiful bird, Igua said. We think so too. Welcome to the Canopy Family Igua!

Fidelino Jiménez
Igua with tourists in Darién