In Brief

I am a freelance writer and journalist based in the indigenous Maya town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in the Yucatán Peninsula. With more than a decade of experience in Mexico and Central America, I have authored and updated dozens of bestselling guidebooks, including titles from Footprint’s legendary Latin America series. My specialisms include environmental journalism, creative nonfiction, features and travel writing. My interests include Latin American history, tropical ecology, indigenous culture, counter-mapping, videography and street photography. I recently completed a Certificate of Higher Education in Environment with the Open University and am working part-time towards a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

Creative writer

Central America’s diversity of remote landscapes, its vivid tropical ecology, its multiplicity of indigenous, Latin, and African-descendent cultures – not to mention its swashbuckling sense of drama – are an on-going creative inspiration. I am particularly drawn to far-flung frontiers where civilisation ends and wilderness begins. Equally, as a free spirit and an artist, I am happiest crafting prose that engages my imagination and challenges the boundaries of conventional form. I believe that good writing, like good travel, should take you to the edge of the world.

Guidebook author

Writing guidebooks is a challenging process that demands careful planning, hard work, and physically strenuous logistics. Jumping on and off buses, taxis, boats, single prop aircraft, and the occasional petulant mule… knocking on doors, liaising with contacts, fact-checking and data-gathering in the research phase requires the exploration of thousands of square miles of territory at a breathless pace – all the while having the flexibility to address the diversions, delays, and electrifying moments of serendipity which are a part of the travel experience anywhere. Conducted at home (or in colourful hotel rooms converted to impromptu offices), writing up research is no less intensive. It requires the sifting and sorting of voluminous information for distillation into prose and practical listings.

As the coordinating author of Footprint’s bestselling Central America range, I have a solid track record of working under my own steam to deliver well-crafted, accurate, and innovative copy to tight publishing schedules. I have planned, researched, and written guidebooks books from scratch. I have overhauled, re-structured, and re-written many more. My years as a seasoned guidebook author mean I can offer prospective editors dogged research skills, discerning local knowledge, an unwavering professional ethos, and a lucid sense of place.

Environmental and indigenous rights journalist

Travelling the patchwork of neotropical nations between Panama and Mexico, I have been fortunate to encounter the natural world at its most vivid and sublime. The isthmus of Central America is a tangled hot house of tropical vigour; its rainforests a voracious bloom of outlandish flora. Multi-storied canopies play host to a web of life spanning thousands of species of fauna, from armies of industrious leaf-cutter ants to solitary, prowling jaguars. My travels have also brought me into contact with conservationists, biologists, naturalists, activists, environmental advocates, and wily frontier people as passionate as they are knowledgeable about their fields. From them I gained not only an appreciation of the splendour of the land, but of the existential threats it faces. Aggressive land grabs, palm oil plantations, deforestation, hydroelectric dams, mines and other assorted megaprojects imperil Central America’s vibrant life zones – and the indigenous communities who depend upon them for sustenance.

Indigenous peoples and their lands are so often one single, indivisible unit. And the opportunity to document indigenous struggles in Central America has been a singular, transformative experience. Since 2011, I have worked in collaboration with journalists, activists and NGOs to write extensively about hydroelectric development on the Changuinola and Tabasará rivers in Panama, including its impact on indigenous stakeholders. Cited in academic journals and utilised by organisations such Carbon Watch, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), and International Rivers, my research has contributed to numerous articles and documentaries on the evolving (and underreported) environmental and human rights situation in Panama.