Jorge Pérez y Denisse Cruz
Jorge Pérez Veve was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974 but spent a large part of his childhood visiting his grandparents in Yabucoa PR, the countryside of the Island, where he was exposed to the nature that wasn't near him in the city.
Denisse was born and raised in the East coast town of Humacao in 1981. She has a bachelors degree in Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico.
Pursuing his dream of surfing on 1993 Jorge went to study in Costa Rica where he got a bachelors degree in Hotels Administration and Tourism. He returned to the Island in 1997, then he started his studies in Horticulture in the Colegio Regional de la Montaña in Utuado. While studying there he led the Asociación de Estudiantes Agricultores (association of students farmers) and developed the first project of agroecology on campus. He was one of the founding members of the Cooperativa Orgánica Madre Tierra in 1999, the first cooperative for organic farmers in Puerto Rico, which created the first organic farmers market in San Juan, PR. where he was an active member as an organic farmer from 1999-2007.
Jorge and Denisse met in San Juan PR in 2000 and got married in 2004. As a family they were part of the group Naturismo Tropical, a non profit movement dedicated to teaching about a better way of living through a simple lifestyle and healthy nutrition, using the natural resources in the tropics. They were also part of Boricuá, a non profit organisation for the education on agroecology, that also help farmers through workshops and brigades in the different farms of the farmers members. In 2001 they acquire their farm El Batey del Cemí in Utuado PR, 30 acres of secondary tropical forest that adjoins the Tanamá River (one of the most important water bodies in PR) where they begin to develop their ecofarmed production of food and a whole sustainable farm living with a house made of local wood, spring water, solar power, compostable toilets, etc. Was in this place where they started to raise their family of now four children. This natural sanctuary became their home and the place where later they began to develop their main commercial project. After many years of visualising the potential for ecotourism in the area they founded Batey Zipline Adventures in 2008, a nature adventure company focused in providing a variety of activities and extreme sports with an approach on the education of puertorrican culture, our taino heritage, flora, fauna and the sustainable project in the farm. The Pérez Cruz family has been preparing the land for the present and for the future, learning how to use our natural resources to the most and at the same time protecting them. Their ecotours and daily practices promote a minimal impact on the environment and encourage direct involvement with adjacent communities. In 2014 Batey Zipline Adventures became one of the first nature adventure companies with the Certified Ecotourism Operation certification from the Green Certification Program of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Jorge and Denisse live in Utuado with their four children ages 12, 8, 6 and 3 (Elías, Flor, Rocío and Levi). They continue to run their business Batey Zipline Adventures, which has been and continues to be an important economic project to the adjacent communities, creating more than 15 jobs and keep working to develop their community as a responsible ecotourism destiny.