Rafael has served as Cal-Wood’s Executive Director since 1999. Prior to Cal-Wood, Rafael worked as a range scientist and wildlife biologist in Mexico and as a professor at Antonio Narro University. Working for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, he trained volunteer instructors for Project Wild, hunter and angler education. As the state of Coahuila environmental education director, he developed one of the largest environmental education programs in Mexico. Rafael has served on different boards and networks, such as the Bilingual ESL Network in Colorado, the international Project Learning Tree, and Thorne Nature Experience. Rafael has been recognized through awards including North American Association for Environmental Education‘s Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Award, 2014 Daily Camera Pacesetters Award in Environment, Boulder Community Action Programs Multicultural Award, Thorne Nature Experience‘s Environmental Education Champion award and the Colorado Association of Environmental Education's Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award.