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Mentor Spotlight: José Ignacio Porras

This month, we spotlight Explore Austin Mentor, José Ignacio Porras. We are so grateful to José for all that he contributes to our program. Get to know José below!

Where do you work?

I work at a civil engineering consulting firm, designing public infrastructure and private land development projects.

What drew you to Explore Austin?

I grew up doing outdoors activities and it’s something I’ve always loved, the opportunity to share this with other people is what made me volunteer for this program.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have lived in 12 different cities and 3 different countries.

What sport would you be in if you were in the olympics?

Rock climbing, 110%.

What is your favorite park/national park/spot in nature and why?

El Cielo Biosphere Reserve, 357,000 acres of natural reserve. Cielo is Spanish for heaven, so you could imagine how beautiful this place is – caves, waterfalls, hundreds of unique species, and plants, it’s a full ecosystem that changes with the elevations that range from 1,000 ft up to 7,700ft! I’ve been there 4 times and always discover something new. The people that live there are very kind and do everything they can to protect the reserve, I truly love this place and the locals.