Our US and Cuba Team
Michael Sanders, President and Founder
Michael Sanders is the President and Founder of Environmental Adventure Company, also known as EAC Tours. Michael and EAC Tours work in conjunction with local and national non-profit conservation organizations and recently recognized by The National Wildlife Federation as One of Best Wildlife Tour Companies in North America.
After years working as a biologist with federal, state and local governments across the United States, Michael founded EAC Tours in 1998. His biography, The Beast in the Garden, highlights his passion for open wild lands and the animals that inhabit them.
Michael has worked on natural science projects throughout the Americas, ranging from polar bear tracking and aurora borealis viewing in the Arctic to bird census and green-sea turtle monitoring in the Caribbean. He has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia, Latin and South American, the Galapagos and most currently Cuba.
Michael’s love of travel and education, paired with his Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, makes him the perfect leader for your next adventure!
Chelsea Zertucha Rodriguez, Expert Guide and Advisor
Chelsea (Chels) is the perfect guide. Knowledgeable, fun, a consummate professional and loves to show clients her beautiful country. A native of Cuba, Chels spent a number of years in Ottawa, Canada, later returning to her beloved Cuba to continue her education. She has several years of experience as an expert guide with Agencia de Viajes San Cristobal and as a consultant with MINREX, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
Chels invites you to join her and explore the rich heritage of her country in all its beauty and charm. Travel with her “behind the scenes” and find your own Cuba - music, art, culture or nature, Chelsea is always there to help make your Cuba visit the best!
Catherine Murphy, Travel & Logistics Specialist
Catherine (Cat) is an accomplished development and program management expert. Her experience base ranges from multimillion dollar fundraising for an international non-profit to serving as the President of a media specialization and strategic marketing company for twelve years. As the Executive Director at Waves for Water, Cat directs many of the non-profit’s humanitarian aid projects throughout Mexico and Central America. She has extensive disaster relief experience including work in Haiti as well as leading Waves for Water efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Cat is currently consulting with EAC Tours on Cuba’s People-to-People travel and the country’s water purification needs. Catherine is an adventurer, surfer and humanitarian.
Leonel Augusto Ricardo Mena (Nene)
Nene lives in Havana, Cuba and is a valuable asset to EAC Tours - always smiling and offering an insider’s view to our visitors.
Nene has been involved with Cuban baseball his entire life. He played on the Juvenile World’s Championship team and later was recruited to play professional baseball with the Metropolitanos. After one season he was traded to the Habana Industriales as shortstop, where he excelled for nine seasons, playing in the Cuban World Series. In 1999, Nene became the principal trainer of the National Team of Cuba for the World Championship team. In addition, Nene spent five years working as principal trainer at Reggio Emilia, Italy - a collaboration between Federacion Cubana de Baseball and Federacion Italiana de Baseball. He is currently writing “The Cuban Official Guide of Baseball” to be published soon.
Nene is consulting with EAC Tours to design a youth baseball exchange program between the Montana Chapter of Babe Ruth League baseball and Cuba’s Juvenile League. This People-to-People youth exchange proposal will promote meeting new friends, playing baseball, and understanding the Cuban culture. Future plans are to have the Cuban youth visit and play baseball in Montana. Our first proposed tour is scheduled for 2019.
Xochitl Ayón Güemes, Cuba Birding expert
Xochitl, bird curator at the National Museum of Natural History of Cuba has 30 scientific papers and presentation on scientific events. She is the co-author on chapters of two books: Las Aves de Cuba and Libro Rojo de los Vertebrados de Cuba. Xochitl has worked on different environmental educational projects for children of urban and rural places. She has received training in Collection Management at National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution and in monitoring bird communities at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. At present she is working on a scientific project with the American Museum of Natural History to study Cuban birds. Xochitl is one of the best birders in Cuba!
Edwin Ruiz Rojas, Biologist, Avian Researcher
Edwin Rojas is a native of Cuba and an active participant in study of resident and migratory bird communities across Cuba. An expert in biodiversity associated with different habitat types and has contributed to the checklist of special interest fauna species. Edwin has a Master’s Degree from the Ecology and Systematics Institute in Havana and has been a nature and birding guide for several years. His knowledge and guide experience makes Edwin a perfect candidate for our birding tours.
Pablo Morales Marchan, Cuba Guide and Logistics Assistant
Havana's spirit is magical because it is full of old architecture mixed with modern buildings, vibrant Latin culture, and life from young to old and local to international. I love my city. I was born and raised in Havana and I'd be happy to share my knowledge of the city to create a customized experience for you. Unlike other cookie-cutter tours, I will use my years of experience and references to select the very best of Havana to cater to your specific interests and schedule. I take a lot of pride in being professional, reliable, and creative, but I am also down to earth and genuinely like to help people. Let me show you how beautiful and exciting Havana and other places in Cuba can be!