The De Narvaez family has had a centuries old tradition with engineering, starting with Antonio De Narvaez, a military engineer who in the XVIII century was engaged in the construction of the forts protecting Cartagena, still standing today. The Colombian School of Engineering was founded by Daniel's great-great grandfather Don Antonio R. De Narvaez in 1867 as was the Society of Colombian Engineers. Daniel's father was a nationally recognized engineer who was awarded the prestigious "National Engineering Award" for his design of the water purification plant of Armenia. Daniel was born in Bogota, Colombia and started his education in Orlando, Florida at age seven in Saint Margaret Mary grade school. The family later moved to Fort Lauderdale where he continued his studies in St. Colemans grade school and later in Cardinal Gibbons High School, finishing in Bogota’s prestigious Colegio San Carlos alongside two of Colombia’s recent presidents, and several high-level politicians and industry leaders. His engineering education took place at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, majoring in mining engineering with a minor in coal mining. During this time he was very active in school politics and was elected president of the Latin American Club, president of the International Council, Student Council member and later elected to the elite Blue Key national honor society. His professional experience started while still a junior at the Colorado School of Mines, having worked for Ingersoll Rand International in Miami, Florida during the summer recess of 1975. Later that year he worked as a drilling assistant in the Schwartzwalder uranium mine in Golden. After graduation in 1976, he went to work with Ingersoll Rand in Minas Gerais, Brasil and later transferred to the Bogota office. In 1980 he underwent a one year training program as a drilling specialist based in Orrville, Ohio traveling extensively throughout the western and central states working primarily in exploration and water well drilling as well as hard rock tunneling projects. He was later transferred to the Miami office as a Drilling Specialist covering Mexico, Central and South America where he travelled extensively, involved primarily with international tenders for mining and civil works. Daniel then joined Portadrill Inc. from Denver, Colorado, as Regional Manager for Latin America, concentrating on projects in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego coal exploration projects.
In 1984 Daniel returned to Bogota where he worked with the family’s sand and gravel mining business operating this mining property successfully for 25 years until the ore reserves were completely exhausted. In 1992 Daniel ventured into the emerald mining districts of Colombia following his passion for underground mining operations in a time when the political situation in Colombia was most unstable and great turmoil affected most of the distant resource rich mineral regions controlled by leftist guerrillas. He worked initially in the Oriente emerald mine in the Chivor district, tunneling several kilometers into what has now been proved as the most promising part of the mine. He later moved to the adjacent property, the San Pedro mine, where major development work was performed and several very rich emerald veins and pockets were discovered. During this time the Colombian Association of Colombian Emerald Miners (APRECOL) was formed with Daniel as its first President, a position which he held for ten years on a pro-bono basis. During his tenure as President, he was instrumental in the construction of the emerald certification gemological laboratory CDTEC in Bogota, now considered to be one of the world’s foremost gem labs. Daniel was elected to two terms as representative of all the mining associations to the Advisory Mining Policy Council, a government entity that develops mining policy in Colombia. Daniel also was intricately involved in the development of the new Mining Code under Colombia’s President Pastrana. In 2011 Daniel served as a consultant on an emerald discovery of 62,000 emeralds that were found on the sea bottom off Key West, Florida. Daniel has been very active in the promulgation of a shipwreck law in Colombia and has been a consultant to the Colombian Congress for over the past 15 years on matters relating to underwater cultural heritage. During the past 5 years Daniel has been the Executive Director of Exploraciones Oceanicas S de RL de CV, managing the Don Diego offshore phosphate deposit in the Pacific coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.