Fernando Berdegué de Cima is a natural born explorer. As a descendant of exiles from the Spanish Civil War, and a Spanish-American migrant from San Francisco and Arizona, he has had the opportunity to absorb a variety of world perspectives through travel. He’s observed firsthand both capitalist and communist socio-political cultures, and observed how they shape the many different mentalities around the world. Because he sees the world from different views, Fernando is extremely passionate about sustainable development and shared value. As a firm believer of conscious business, he founded Durango Gold Corp, a mining exploration company, as a strong path for real sustainable development in the sector of gold and silver mining.
Growing up in the Tropic of Cancer, Fernando had the privilege of experiencing some of the richest ecosystems in terms of biodiversity. As a kid, he learned the trade of fishing, and spent his days surfing. But as he got older, he became a hunter. Hunting led him to Africa, where he started breeding West Zambian Sable antelope to find a deep connection to nature. As he learned more about human interactions with nature and her ecosystems, Fernando gained a better understanding of what conservation truly meant. He gave up hunting for sport. He never abandoned the principles he learned as a hunter. Instead, he shifted his focus to apply them to different methods and prey: gold and silver.
As Fernando started his mining journey, people were his first priority. He needed to surround himself with the right team, make sure everything integrated well, and get the financial backing. Only then will you be able to create a good project to survive execution. Not only were people a crucial component to an innovative conservation model, but Fernando’s time in Africa revealed how everything is connected. This would require working with animals, insects, plants, and kingdoms. “I understood I needed immense amounts of capital to test ideas that are not necessarily attractive for financing or just common at all. Ideas that involve managing ecosystems and innovation in the sustainable development realm. I wanted to be more lucrative for a while to later test my ‘crazy ideas’,” he says.
Fernando believes the most dangerous crisis we are facing as humanity is overpopulation. He believes we are glossing over it by focusing on other problems such as climate change and ocean acidification. But to solve these issues, more science should be applied to become better human beings as we interact with the ecosystem. “I am extremely objective while analyzing things and neutral in my views to the point where people with polarized views can get confused because they don’t know where to place me. A proud humanitarian who considers himself to be realistic above all,” he says.
In order to reach your goals, you have to be convinced you will win. There will be pain. It’s going to hurt, but never give up. You’ll see how incredible it is if you get back on your feet again, and again, and again. Fear will only trigger natural responses that allow you to see risks to protect yourself and survive. It is actually an effective mechanism for creating boundaries because a crisis reveals who your partners truly are.
What’s next for Fernando? He plans to create a special exploration team formed by local community members. He is also working to publish his first book and creating a vision that involves a greater commitment towards sustainable development. You can follow Fernando on Instagram @fernando_berdegue.