Fernando, best known as "Don," was born on May 30, 1954, in Bluefields, Nicaragua. He is one of 12 siblings. He has worked for Costa Rica Expeditions since 1989. As a child, his grandparents, originally from Jamaica, taught him to speak Jamaican English. When he moved to Tortuguero, at age 18, he learned American English from the scientists and tourists he met there. Don worked for 14 years for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) before coming to work as a guide at Tortuga Lodge.
He’s an excellent boatman and has also guided and worked as an assistant manager at Corcovado Lodge. Don and his wife, Pastora, have four children: Jimmy, twins Maribel and Maricela, and Katherine. What Don likes best about guiding is getting to talk to all kinds of people, being outside and observing the more than 100 bird species found in Tortuguero. He is known for his booming laugh, which can be heard for some distance.