Rick was born in the Chiriqui highlands of Panama. A naturalist and avid birder, he has compiled an impressive bird list as well as a long list of experiences and adventures as a naturalist guide and as NHA’s Expedition Leader in Panama. Rick has spent time in all of Panama’s ecosystems and is currently participating in intensive training to further enhance his natural history education. He speaks flawless English and is always enthusiastic about heading into the forest with our guests. Rick also has a rich knowledge of Panama’s intriguing cultural history, from colonialism to the building of the Panama Canal. His personal understanding of Panama’s local cultures adds greatly to our guests’ experience, and his outgoing personality makes him a delight to learn from.
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
R. Dill, Jr.
"Rick is passionate about his love for his native country and wanted to share all it's uniqueness with us! He has an incredible knowledge of the wildlife in Panama and made sure everyone saw and experienced everything Panama has to offer. He is an outstanding guide and we feel very fortunate to have him as our Trip Leader."
"I can not say enough good things about Rick. Panama is not really set up for service for tourists but you would not know it by alll the service we received. Rick had to be flexible with the weather, our group and our interests, and the transportation (plane which was changed). Rick is a very engaging, attentive, informative guide. My husband and are are very interested in birds and his knowledge of the bird calls, by site was impressive. He had us stop at a couple of really nice homes (bed and breakfast) where we could look at birds and enjoy the setting of lovely streams, chairs in which to watch birds at feeders and get information about the coffee production at one of the bed and breakfast. As we stayed on in Panama City, Rick helped us organized a driver, a boat tour up to an Embera Village and followed up to make sure we were fine. Rick also added a trip to see some bats in a local cave in Bocas del Tora one late afternoon which was an extra treat. He really went beyond and did it with an ease and grace. You have a real jewel with Rick."
"Rick Morales was outstanding in every way. I cannot praise him highly enough. He made our trip outstanding. If Nat Hab could request him every time, you would have happy campers."
"Rick is a national treasure of Panama! As a true naturalist he answered every question we had about flora and fauna--and his knowledge of birds was outstanding. We couldn't have asked for a better."
"Rick is a treasure, as are all of your guides. Even if they weren't so knowledgable about their areas, they would make it fun and interesting just becasue of their enthusiam and pride in their country. Slogging through the mud and over mountain and dale can get hard and tiring unless you have someone like Rick who gets excited about what is happening in the immediate world around us. Anyone would get excited seeing a huge whale or polar bear somewhere in the world, but he managed to get us excited about tiny ants, spiders, and frogs!"