Born in the Big Apple, I grew up on the beaches of Long Island and spent the majority of my days on the water or in the woods. I lived in a family of strong cultural influence. My father came to the USA from the Dominican Republic to finish his studies in medicine, eventually meeting my mother, a 2nd generation Italian, who was a nurse in the hospital where he was doing one of his residencies.
My days were always filled with extended family, and I had close relations with my grandparents who had a very significant role in my upbringing. My love for the outdoors was nourished by the many hours I spent with my grandfather working in gardens, fishing for flounder and snapper, or digging for clams and muscles along the shores of Oyster Bay.
I received my BA in Communications at Sunny Oswego, NY. Shortly thereafter I received my MA in Education at Adelphi University, NYC. After returning home from Honduras as an Education Volunteer for the Peace Corps, I began teaching for a Bilingual elementary school in Boulder Colorado. After many years in the field I decided to change professions and received my Wilderness EMT certification. With these new skills I became an active member of my rural fire district as well as a Ski Patroller for our local mountain. I now teach Wilderness medicine courses for Aerie Backcountry Medicine and have taught all over the United States and in Costa Rica and Mexico.
Volunteerism has been, and remains, a strong part of my life. After returning from the Peace Corps I have continued the philosophy of giving back to the greater world from working with groups such as No More Deaths on the Arizona/Mexico border to travelling to Haiti for medical disaster response. I continue to be involved in my community as an EMT and firefighter.
I have been a volunteer for the Buffalo Field Campaign for the past 15 years. It has been an honor to work with such a dedicated group of individuals as well as to stand with America’s last wild bison. The community and family I have found both at BFC and in the field with the bison are highlights in my life.
I currently live in an off-grid strawbale home built with the help of family and friends in the high Rockies of Colorado. I love to hike, cross-country ski, snowboard, build, and continue to learn the flora and fauna of the ever-changing ecosystems I love. I am a community builder. I have learned much and gained many skills around mediation, group dynamics, facilitation, and organizing by living in community and working to protect America’s last wild bison.
My wife, Justine Sanchez, has been a fellow board member of the BFC for the past 10 years. Our son, Japhy, grew up within the BFC and buffalo community. He is now a "Buffalo" himself, having just completed his first year of college at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO…home of “the Buffs!”
An inspirational quote that I seek to apply to myself and my life is from Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota, BFC Co-Founder, “Remind yourself every morning, every morning, every morning: ‘I’m going to do something. I’ve made a commitment.’ Not for yourself, but beyond yourself. You belong to the collective. Don’t go wandering off, or you will perish.”
Standing with the Buffalo feels like what it was like to stand on the land when it was unmarred by the machinery of modern man. The glorious days we spend in the field with the buffalo (when the management agencies are not around) truly offer a spiritual taste of the sacredness of their essence.