A son of Mexican immigrants from the sugar cane and agave fields of the state of Jalisco, Refugio was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. His love of nature began at a young age. He spent a significant portion of his childhood exploring the creek and patches of woods around his home, looking for any type of animal and critter he could find. That early exposure to the natural world grew into a deep fascination that continues to this day. Refugio currently works to engage communities of color in nature and break down barriers that make natural areas inaccessible to them, while exploring the concept of nature and its interpretation to different communities and cultures.
Refugio is a former educator and a volunteer for the Lake County Forest Preserves, as well as a member of the Lake County Audubon Society. He received his bachelor's degree in geography with a minor in environmental science from DePaul University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mapping at the University of Kentucky.
To reach Refugio, please email him at Refugio.Mariscal@audubon.org