The thing is Victor was not always a conservationist. Most of his life he was just the opposite. He spent twenty years working as a logger. In the ’90s during the ‘mahogany boom’ he worked in remote parts of the Amazon felling ancient trees and adventuring through the wildest places on the planet. Sometimes he would be away from civilization for over a month at a time. He’s seen uncontacted tribes, giant anacondas, and even been lost in the jungle so long that his friends went to the nearest city to report that he had died. But Victor survived.
A few years ago Victor’s left knee began to deteriorate until there was very little cartilage and walking became painful. His work hauling wood and hiking through the forest came to a grinding halt. Victor had no way of making a living to support his wife and two young daughters.
That’s when he became a part of the Tamandua team. Tamandua Expeditions is an ecotourism company that protects threatened habitat in the Amazon rainforest by employing people that would be loggers, gold miners, farmers, or poachers. With Tamandua they become guides, cooks, porters, naturalists, and get to share their local culture and knowledge with people from all over the world. They also get paid more (so it’s a win for everyone!).
When Victor came onto the team we were instantly overwhelmed by his iron work ethic, incredible dependability, good judgment, and his ability to make everyone smile. This man sings, he jokes, he uplifts everyone around him. He is a wealth of information and jungle wisdom. He can make a broom from vines, he can tell you when it’s going to rain, and he truly loves sharing the jungle with all the visitors that Tamandua brings to the Amazon.
A few months ago Victor’s leg became so bad that he can no longer walk for more than a few minutes. It has become clear that we need to help him get this surgery so that his leg can be repaired and he can get back to work, back to the jungle, and make the living that his family depends on.
By coming together and helping Victor fix his leg we are saving his life and the lives of his family. Without you, Victor’s life would look very different. Regardless of how hard he worked would NEVER be able to afford a surgery like this. But with all of us helping, we can make a miracle happen.
- Robi Basu
- Fiona N Keating
- Benjamin Bauman
- Afsheen Shamsi
Organizer and beneficiary
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