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Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil founded the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, the Cuyabeno Lodge and Parks and Tribes, dedicating his life to conservation and national parks.


Having started his career in 1969 as a project officer of the IYF (now YEE); he dedicated his life to the conservation of nature and is among the world's most experienced conservation ecologists. Besides English, Daan speaks, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese; he has traveled to 85+ countries, many in the context of his work in service of conservation. He has organized and lead National Geographic like scientific expeditions with large teams of scientists into jungles in South America and Africa where no western explorers had gone before, the first one to the Yasuni area en Ecuador  His slogan: CONSERVATIONISTS NEVER GIVE UP!


A practical planner and problem solver, with a PhD from Wageningen University, his career of half a century  includes working for the FAO of the United Nations, The Dutch equivalent of the USA Corps of Engineers, Rijkswaterstaat, Haskoning, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the German Development Organization (GIZ), the USA Development Agency, (USAID), and a variety of other prestigious international institutions. Read about his holistic conservation approach.


Little known to Ecuadorians, he was part of the United Nations team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador, now 70. The Yasuni National Park and Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve were his prime selections for the Amazon Region of Ecuador. In 1985, he recommended Cuyabeno to be expanded from originally about 150,000 hectares to 590,112 hectares, together with then Cuyabeno director Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello and Parks and Tribes partner. Daan is also the founding father of the Cuyabeno Lodge and co-manager of the Cofan Lodge, owned by Randy Borman MSc and his son Felipe.


Having started ecotourism in 1985 with the Cuyabeno Lodge, he has been the pioneer of ecotourism in Ecuador, long before other tour operators became involved, and he has single-handedly, initiated ecotourism in the northern part of Cuyabeno.


As a national parks conservation expert, Daan has been extremely worried about national parks being underutilized, and thereby lack political interest, which often results in an area being invaded and destroyed. He decided to dedicate the last years of his professional life to the development of national parks tours. After all, with his knowledge of national parks, his broad travel experience and his 30+ years of experience in the ecotourism business, who has more experience in developing great tours to national parks? Read more about his national parks tours in many countries of the world: https://nationalparks-worldwide.com.


Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello

Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello was the first director of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in the early 80s. When the reserve became invaded by smallholder farmers from the Andes, he contacted his friend Parks Man Daan Vreugdenhil, then in the Netherlands, to help solve the problem.


Together they assessed the situation and advised the government to eliminate the invaded area of the then 150,000 ha reserve, and at the same time expand the area all the way to the border with Peru, growing it to 600,000 ha. Flavio lobbied hard to get the proposal agreed and carried out all the procedures for legal approval of the proposal. As the area had no ecotourism to speak off, the 2 friends facilitated the construction of the Cuyabeno Lodge, of which Daan was the founding father.


Later, Flavio became professor at the Catholic University in Quito (PUCE), where is his still teaching Ecotourism and Protected Areas Planning. Few people in Ecuador know the protected areas of the country like Flavio, and with his broad knowledge of ecotourism, he is the ideal partner of Parks and Tribes. Loved by his students for his knowledge of nature and charming humor, Flavio has helped countless young Ecuadorians to a fulfilling professional life.


Randy Borman MSc.

Randy Borman MSc. is a full member of the Cofan Nation (tribe). He grew up in the Cofan village and way of life in the 60s. He married his Cofan sweetheart, Amelia Quenama, and they have 2 sons and a daughter, all of whom speak Cofan, Spanish and English fluently.


With his American University training he could liaison with international traditional rights movements and communicate with government institutions. By 1980 he had initiated ecotourism along the Aguarico River and by 2015 he had built the Cofan lodge, which he runs with his son Felipe.


He has led a great deal of scientific biological research teams in the Northern Amazon Region. With his knowledge of both the Amazon Indian culture and nature, he is the most knowledgeable person in all Ecuador to have along on  a Cuyabeno expedition.


With Randy Borman's indigenous background, and Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello's ecological and ecotourism background, this team is the best team in the country to develop and provide the best jungle programs and national parks tours in all of Ecuador.


PARKS & TRIBES Travel Agency in Quito
Ecuador Address: Las Casas, Crossing Street: Jose Coudrin, 2 streets above the Occidental Highway, Canton Quito, Prov. Pichincha, Neighborhood Belisario Quevedo 
Tel: (++593)(02) 2 2324 4086, Cell: (++593) (0) 99 283 2187 USA: (++)1 304 901 0718
Email: info@parks-and-tribes.com