Michael McKenzie, Director and Guide
With nearly 25 years of experience as a wilderness guide/instructor/facilitator, Michael knew at an early age he was destined to live, work, witness and play in the outdoors. With the exception of a 5 year stint as a dog mushing guide in Northern Canada, Michael has rarely been without a paddle in hand. He spent a number of years with Outward Bound as an instructor, facilitator and guide leading sea kayak and white water canoe trips throughout Canada before landing in Belize, Central America. It was in Belize that Michael was exposed to the diverse ecosystems of the tropics and he remained there seasonally for 9 years leading sea kayak and river running expeditions. Having found excitement in these varied and rich environments, Michael sought a location in Central America to pursue his own dream. Panama proved to be a place of magic, a lost world that combines the things he enjoys in life:the natural jungle and sea wonders, great people, a beautiful area to explore by kayak, fresh vital foods and awesome surf. Fluid Adventures Panama is Michael’s vision and he is thrilled to see his dream come to fruition here in Santa Catalina, Panama.
Michael graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology and Sport Business Admin. He is also a nature photographer, surfer, and an environmentalist who tries to live life mindfully and conscientiously. He is more interested in “presence” than “presents”, is drawn to sustainable living and community. His curiosity for nature, big and small, is infectious. Michael is a fully certified guide who takes group safety, sound judgment and risk management seriously while addressing individual needs while creating fun enriching experiences. If you’re lucky enough to get him cooking on an expedition you know you’re in a good place..though, you may find him surfing.
Most common phrase, “Look before you leap!” and “Never turn your back on the sea..”
Javier Elizondo, Eco Tour, Surf & Sea Kayak Guide
Native to Southern California, Javier has been a resident of Panama for more than 10 years now. He arrived in 1993 as a Peace Corps volunteer after graduating from UCSB with a BA in Spanish Literature and Philosophy. From 1993-95 he worked to introduce sustainable agriculture techniques in Chagres National Park.
Javier settled in Santa Catalina Beach because of its natural beauty. He has been at the forefront of surf exploration in the area since his arrival, and brings 20 years of surfing experience to the table. He also enjoys birding, free diving, homesteading, fatherhood, sailing, and exploring the many wonders Coiba Island has to offer.
Most common phrase, “Â¡Isauro ven aca!”
Liz MacNeil, Sea Kayak Guide and Instructor
Although she hails from the mountains of NC, Liz comes from a long line of seafarers and pirates, and has always felt the ocean pumping through her blood. Being too kind for piracy, Liz found her niche captaining a different kind of fleet – sea kayaks – which has taken her to the oceans & seas around the world. With over 1,000 days leading sea kayak trips & expeditions in Alaska, Baja Mexico, Patagonia, the USA (ME, MA, CA, NV), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, Turkey, Tanzania & Zanzibar, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Panama, Liz has left her wake in every ocean but the Arctic.
Fluent in Spanish and a certified ACA Sea Kayak Instructor, Life Guard, and Wilderness First Responder w/ CPR, Liz is a professional, safety-oriented, and has a contagious enthusiasm for Panamanian culture and the marine and wildlife on Isla Coiba. When she’s not leading trips, Liz can be found exploring new places, singing monster rock ballads at open mics, and breaking taco-eating records in obscure port towns.
Adam Zita, Shop Manager, Sea Kayak Guide
Adam has been guiding sea kayaking tours for the past five years. He is the Operations Manager and Lead Guide for East Coast Outfitters in Nova Scotia, Canada. Guiding in Panama is as much an adventure for Adam as it is for the people on his tour. Allowing people the opportunity to find fun, peace and adventure all in one trip is his motivation when guiding with FAP. The people of Santa Catalina are vibrant and exciting and Adam loves sharing his new found knowledge of Panamanian culture, adventures and wildlife with people on his tours.
Kirri Camarena, Boat Captain and Guide
Kirri and his father, Florencia (Chino) Camarena have been an integral part of the Fluid team for 5 years. This awesome duo are as handy with an engine as they are with local fishing knowledge, secret spots to witness wildlife and in sharing local knowledge and helping any way they can. So much of our success is due to the efforts of this family.
Little Secret: In town, ask about their cool local-style family restau run by Alin 😉