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Atila Rego-Monteiro

Atila Rego-MonteiroNOLS Instructor since: 1992
Courses taught: Sea Kayaking, Whitewater Paddling, Canoeing

The son of a Brazilian diplomat and a German immigrant, Atila Rego-Monteiro felt an unusual calling to go west. His chance finally arrived when he graduated from high school and headed out to attend the University of California at Berkley. Rego-Monteiro's destiny seemed sealed, especially after a river expedition sent him paddling down the Grand Canyon's churning whitewater. His future on the water, however, was just beginning. After graduating from college, traveling throughout Africa and Europe, and teaching in the California public school system, he took the final plunge and enrolled on a NOLS Pacific Northwest water instructor's course in 1992.

Since then, Atila has racked up more than 150 weeks in the field, taking students into some of the world's most remote ocean environments. Sea-kayaking, whitewater paddling, and canoeing courses in Alaska, Mexico and the Pacific Northwest are his favorites, but he has a special love for sea kayaking Patagonia's isolated coastal fjords. "Here," he says, "students can expect a wet and windy adventure-hail, intense winds and cloudy coastal haze that all of a sudden fades into a warm, intense sunshine. You stop counting the rainbows after awhile."

It's a journey, he claims, similar to what the natives did so long ago. "I like being on an expedition going into unexplored places like the really wild regions in coastal Patagonia. As we walk around in our heavy-duty rain gear, it makes you appreciate how the natives lived and traveled way before we came along."

Rego-Monteiro notices how the NOLS experience sends students on a life-changing journey of their own, teaching them a kind of humbleness and respect in the presence of the outdoors. He loves watching students change during a course: "They get a bit grimier, a bit hairier, and they start to get a little more real. The Inuit word koviashuvik, describes this transformation best-it means to live in the present moment with quiet joy and happiness."

The students, says Atila, are really why he works at NOLS because they are filled with passion, enthusiasm and a strong desire to explore. He aims to channel this same motivation into a quality leadership experience. "I try to model values of commitment and leadership for the group, and I do so with actions rather than words. Anyone can become an effective leader given the opportunity and leadership tools."

In fact, he believes everyone at NOLS, from students and instructors to the behind-the-scenes administrative staff, demonstrates a strong sense of commitment and leadership. NOLS is one of the best communities Atila's ever been involved with. "I love the NOLS community," he says. "Everyone strives for excellence, no matter what they do."

Meet a few of the nearly 800 people who make NOLS the Leader…
Dave Anderson
Andy Bassett
Pip Coe
Matthew Copeland
Jim Ferguson
Victor Flores
Lindsay Nohl
Sarah Hueniken
Janeen Hutchins
Rey Johnston
Paul Koubek
Jen Lamb
Sarah Lancaster
Riley Hopeman
Brian Murphy
Fredrik Norrsell
Amy Rathke
Atila Rego-Monteiro
Katie Price
Kary Sommers
Phil Schneider
Shawn Stratton
Darran Wells
Missy White
Roger Yim

Atila Rego-Monteiro
Baja Sea Kayaking - Instructor Lena Conlan helps Heather Heyes get ready to roll, Bahia San Basilio, Mexico.
© Geo Schunk

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