Specialty: Plants of the Venezuelan Guayana
Born in a remote country region called Agua Amarilla, Wilmer grew up in Barquicimento, which he calls "the musical capital of Venezuela", where people love to sing and play the cuatro and maracas. Wilmer Diaz has spent the last 9 years working for the Guayana Regional Herbarium in Ciudad Bolívar as part of the Jardín Botanico del Orinoco.
"What was your most frightening experience in the field?" I ask. "I was collecting in the jungle, and I grabbed hold of a vine, which turned out to be a snake. I did not wait to find out if it was poisonous, but ran as fast as I could, and the snake did the same."
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— Reported by Jensen Montambault