Back in the Pack

Clearly I have been severely neglecting this website. The “Asides” note below is the sole reason beside my lack of traveling due to surgery repairing a knee injury (torn ACL, torn meniscus, fractured patella). In my downtime I have been formulating the next big thing that I have been none too subtly hinting at on this site. I’ve visited Costa Rica a few times before, the first was with my boarding school way back in 1994, but this visit last April was the first time I got to experience the lesser-known Caribbean coast. There I met some noteworthy characters down there including Tom Snyder and John Brickel, a pair better known through their own non-profit organization – Project Green Jungle.


Project Green Jungle along with the Bribri

After many years of formulating, John and Tom, accompanied by input from Jungle Brothers & Sisters like James Opdhal, Heather Trott, Jim Obert, Melissa Soro, and now myself, have conjured up a master plan to benefit the unrepresented and overlooked indigenous tribes of southern Costa Rica collectively known as the Bribri, all while furthering their own zoological goals. A result of living off the radar and suffering less governmental protection than the Costa Rican wildlife, the Bribri’s living conditions are extremely poor. Due to not being accounted for in official census statistics, the overall Bribri population estimates seem to range from ten to thirty thousand, with only a few thousand who still speak their native tongue.



So what does all of this have to do with me and the Packcamera website?

Well, after my return from Costa Rica six months ago, I began pondering if I could offer a workshop that emphasized backcountry and expedition skills alongside photographic instruction. I have lectured before on various subjects, consulted with individuals and small groups and disseminated what knowledge I’ve amassed, but always in small doses. So I had an array of thoughts banging around my head when Tom emailed me with this message:



John Brickel and friend

John Brickel and friend







Just wanted to stop by and say hey.  Thought I would let you know we are planning our September trip to Costa Rica. Looking like a 2 week stay in Hitoy Cerere.  Let me know if you wanna come, man I guarantee you of some stuff you have never seen before.  If you cant make it in September, let me know what time of year is good for you and we will try to make the next trip then.  Really think you would enjoy the trip.


Hope things are going well.  We got a formal request from the government of Costa Rica to come back for the September trip so that is good.  Also working on a pretty big article on the water quality stuff.  Let me know how you are doing man…keep in touch,

Pura Vida,



It all went downhill after that…




I began conferencing and workshopping ideas with Tom and quickly realized my goals and their own could easily merge for our mutual benefits. We began outlining different expeditions that could be operated and organized by myself and Project Green Jungle, who were already well established in Costa Rica. Ultimately, these excursions aim to promote and fund PGJ’s social and ecological conservation efforts while utilizing several like-minded and eco-conscious experts in an genre of photography that is fairly under-appreciated. Collectively, we can establish a niche in the over-saturated photo workshop arena, that is unique and difficult to reproduce.

So without further prefacing, I would like to introduce GreenPhotoTours a collaboration with Project Green Jungle and myself. We aim to start offering expeditions, workshops and tours in late 2010 with some early trial runs in the spring of 2010.

I hope to have the website finalized with the full itinerary offerings outlined sometime in January. Finding a web developer on a limited budget is rather difficult. Green Jungle and I will be cross posting on each other sites from time to time, and together we will have some exciting collaborations planned including a raffle that will include a position on one of our springtime so-called ‘guinea pig’ tours, exclusive and limited-edition artwork, and rare indigenous Bribri artifacts.


So, essentially this is an announcement to proclaim ‘I’m back,’ and I will be kicking things off with an article which epitomizes what this site is really all about. So bookmark all our sites, subscribe to our feeds, and enjoy.

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