A native of Peru, Mario’s earliest memories are of accompanying his Italian born father on expeditions into remote regions of the Amazon rainforest and Andean highlands of Peru. These childhood experiences became the foundation for Mario carving his own path in the world as co-founder of Andean & Rainforest Expeditions, Mondo Verde Expeditions and the Evergreen Photo Alliance stock agency. Mario is currently the spokesperson for a chapter of the Slow Food Movement in Lima, Peru.
Mario’s enthusiastic approach to new people and places helped him break through the challenges of being a non-English speaking immigrant to the USA. This experience has stayed with him over the past three decades as he has moved around the world, living and working across cultures and borders, butalways finding a way to communicate in Spanish, English, Italian, French and photography.
Mario’s fascination with individuals and their stories is evident in his work, where he captures the celebration of daily life, the dignity and beauty in what others see as only poverty. An award-winning photographer, Mario has donated his time to NGOs including the American Refugee Committee, Catholic Relief Services and World Vision International to create image banks to raise support for people traumatized and displaced by war.
He has also worked on assignment with UNICEF to promote issues of children’s rights, nutrition, and health care. He is back at home in Colorado, but Mario has lived in Peru, the U.S., Venezuela, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, England, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. Because of his volunteer work, Mario was selected by the Bosnian Catholic Church to be their official photographer during the Pope’s visit to Sarajevo.
Mario’s dedication to building bridges and promoting better understanding between traditional peoples and the Western world has made him a valued advisor to the World Bank, Sierra Productiva and government agencies in the Andean countries. He has helped the LEHE Foundation, a grassroots organization based in Colorado implement programs, which invest in small-scale farmers in the developing world to enhance nutrition, health, productivity and self-sufficiency. In 2018, Mario designed and organized a conservation photography workshop (Saving the Planet one Image at the Time) for guides working in the rainforest of Peru in partnership with his mentor and award winning photographer, Boyd Norton.
Mario has led high altitude treks in the Andes of Peru, the Himalayan Mountains in India and climbs to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.Mario has also led photo expeditions to the Amazon Basin, the Andes of Peru, India, Italy, France, Ecuador/Galapagos, Patagonia and Tanzania.
Mario is back in the USA after living in Peru and Ecuador during the past 6 years. In April and May of 2022, Mario walked 425 miles in Italy’s “Way of Saint Francis Pilgrimage Trail” from Florence to Rome and the “Via Francigena Pilgrimage Trail” from Lucca to Rome. In May of 2023, Mario together with Jeanine walked 350 miles in the Camino de Santiago.
He continues to delight in his own discoveries on the road less traveled.
Co – Founders
Photography / Birds in Focus
Photography / Selective focus
Tour Leader / Birding Expert
S.E. Asia & Morocco Expert