Carmen was born in central Alberta. Her family moved to Salmon Arm, where she spent most of her formative years- cross-country skiing, canoeing and competitive swimming. As a teenager, she achieved her Canada Cord in the Pathfinder Program after attending many years of Girl Guide camps all over British Columbia and Ontario.

Carmen did a Bachelor of Science degree at UBC in Mathematics and went on to study sustainable design (in French) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. She holds a Masters Degree in Architecture which she uses in her research and writings on log, timber-frame, cob and straw-bale construction. She also enjoys natural shelter-craft and reading about anthropology, ethnobotany and ancient civilizations.

While living and working in Switzerland, Carmen hiked all the hikes in the Swiss National Park in the Graubunden region. She did solo trekking through the Swiss Alpes including the complete Trans-Swiss Trail (North-South Traverse), the Jura Crest Trail and the St.James Way Pilgrimage (East-West Traverse). She is currently working on her assistant hiking guide certification in Canada.

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Carmen is a avid forager of wild edible plants and enjoys empowering other women to try hunting and fishing. She is constantly trying new recipes and plants in preparation for her foraging and open- fire cooking courses. She loves arts and crafts- especially drawing, photography, experimental basketry and cordage.

In the winter, Carmen works as a piano teacher and artist. She loves rhythm and enjoys teaches workshops on crafting musical instruments from natural materials. In the summer, she volunteers for several organizations which advocate for the protection of wilderness lands and endangered species.