The best job I have ever had | Tracking Diaries #12

The best job I have ever had | Tracking Diaries #12

I have been working as a researcher for SloCo for only 7 months. The time has passed extremely fast, and still, I have learned incredible things that can only be taught in the field, working with people face to face and always improving my skills, not only my knowledge as a scientist but improving my second language which is English (people say I can speak good but I know I can get better at it).


sloth tracking monitoring using binoculars
José and Faith searching for sloths.


December was kind of solitary, Faith (the volunteer that is currently helping the USP) went back to the UK to see her family and spend the holidays with them, meaning I had to track by myself for half of December. In the beginning was weird because I am used to having company while tracking, but then I thought it was a good idea to do something new or different this time, so I started to listen to a terror/horror podcast while tracking and it was the BEST idea, I really got into it and time passed incredibly fast at work.

I did finish tracking days on the 23rd because of the holidays, so I went to San Carlos (a place located in Costa Rica) to see my family. I love going to this place because I am able to take pictures of birds, frogs, and also sloths! In that land I have seen 3 sloths, one of them even had a baby (I had help from my family to symbolically name the sloths).

I was looking for snakes near the street and I saw a two-fingered sloth lost (not a single tree around, near ones were inside our land), and unfortunately, the road is a high speed and several cars use it. Thinking about what was the best option I opted to take the sloth on the property to avoid any road kill, put into practice everything I learned in my job, and grabbed it. I spent the rest of my time there inside the property, hoping nothing happened to it after I came back to Puerto Viejo.


The rescued sloth.


I came back to work on January 2nd, still by myself and enjoying the podcast. I noticed more people than usual, assuming that the cause of it is New Year’s Eve and also several Costa Ricans have vacations on these days. Not tracking for a while got me out of practice so the first day was tiring but I catch up at the end of the week. A lot of cars in town, and also several people asking what am I doing with that big antenna did not lack, but that is a good opportunity to teach about the project. Important to add is that some days I had to track only by bike, which is kind of challenging and also fun!

Faith came back in the middle of January and, as always, was ready to help with the study. I had the opportunity to make 2 private tours about the USP, one for a big SloCo supporter and another one for some friends that wondered what exactly I have been doing since I left San José (the capital of Costa Rica where I used to live).

In general, this is the best job I have ever had! I cannot be happier with it. I love the place, I love the food, I love riding my bike, I love so much green around me, I love the sloths, I love that I can take pictures of wildlife, I love my teammates that since the beginning they were really friendly and help me with anything I needed.

I can’t wait for whatever 2023 is planning for me and SloCo but I hope are amazing projects (hopefully DNA studies is what I love as well!).







José Pablo Guzmán García
Biologist Researcher,
Urban Sloth Project