At the turn of the century,I had the opportunity to visit the Amazon River with my father. We decide to do a seven day trip with a lodge located in the Tahuayo Reserve. We had a great time seeing how the Amazon alone does all the magic work to bewitch visitors into loving the scenery and its inhabitants.
I knew I had to have my own thatch roof house, as we left I reflected on the trip and I knew it was too short. As we passed the villages on the river, I was already missing the patter of rain on leaf roofs.
The company we stayed with had a lot to do to influence me to come down and make a difference. I noted many things the that did not fly with me. We were paying 1200 dollars each to go to an ecolodge that burned their inorganic garbage and batteries in a toxic pit ( located in lowland flooded forest 30 yards form the “Eco lodge”) .
There was even a well designed bin in the dining room labeled batteries, plastics, metals, organics.
The whole crew wanted to hang their administrator whom was very greedy with tips and other things left to workers from clients.
I later found out that they were not the only highly acclaimed company to be disposing of their garbage inappropriately. The other high rated company would send their trash directly to the Amazon River every afternoon! These actions were most likely committed by local administrators but one can never know what type of organization they may have with the owner.
When I contacted one of the lodge owners about the contamination going on at his lodge, his first Answer was,” we’ll, you know my brother in law is in charge down there” basically rendering him free of responsibility of the act.
He was unable to relate to my concern probably because he didn’t care. It dawned on me that he really didn’t care and as I delve more into the situation I found out even more disturbing things.
I figured if these guys can do a half assed job and charge what they are charging, than I can do a stand up job for the same price and have enough left over to run an animal rescue and rehab center.
I spent my last year in high school and my college carrer dreaming up a plan for the Amazon.
So the dream was born,
but I decided that there are several points I must follow so I can truly separate us from them.
1. Treat all people as equals, workers, and indigenous persons alike.
2. Refrain from colonial attitudes which are so common amongst expats
3. Never owe people for work executed
4. Become involved with the communities to better their understanding about the works of tourism
5. Give guests the best service and personalized itineraries with no grouping of clients traveling separate.
6. Build a lodge suitable for even my own mother to visit with private bathrooms and basic comforts.
7. Use ecological 4 stroke low emission motors
8. Use funds generated by tourism to open and maintain a wildlife rescue and rehab center
Now I haven’t always been what the public would consider normal. I was always outside with every opportunity since I was very small. I have such a curiosity for everything that is nature, from land formations and sedimentation process to insects,trees, birds,frogs and the list goes on.
I was more of a snowshoe and bonfire type of guy when the majority of others are at keg parties and rock concerts.
I have always been especially curious with birds, I have been training hawks since the age of 14.
It only seemed right for me to move to the Amazon to broaden my understanding and fuel my curiosity about Mother Nature.
I guess I became bored with the wildlife up north, when I left I could have given you the scientific name for every bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, insect and plant that could be found.
Here I find myself struggling to get it all in but that is expected when there’re are tens of thousands of things to remember and even some that have not been discovered.
I always tell guests that I see new things every day, that is what keeps me going. After ten years, I
still am surprised daily by new organisms ability to adapt, camouflage and survive in this diverse ecosystem, for example, this caterpillar
What really hooked me into the Amazon though is my lovely wife Ivonne Braga de Giardenelli and now the additional Zander Jordano Giardenelli Braga, soon to be the best jungle guide in the world.
We honestly cannot think of anything else we would be doing in life. Our pleasure is to serve and give breathtaking experiences to every visitor we may have here in the Amazon. We even feel bad when clients choose other companies because we know their experience is limited.
We know your time is short in the Amazon so make the right choice and travel with a company that is passionate about what they do. There is no substitute for our services, we are the best!