Don Gustavo and Don Camilo
One of a series of blog posts written during a Field Museum rapid inventory of the Kampankis mountain range in northern Peru in 2011.
"Gustavo is about ten years older than Camilo – old enough to have several adult children. He lives in a community on the Rio Santiago named Soledad, which means something between solitude and loneliness in Spanish. (It got that name because it was founded by a rubber trader who lived there by himself for several years in the early 1900s. Now there are some 300 inhabitants.) On the trails Gustavo wears shorts and rubber boots and a Lionel Messi jersey; the first time I worked with him his machete had gone missing, so he wore a kitchen knife under his belt. He has an extraordinarily kind and trusting face, and he’s always interested in hearing what you’ve seen, or showing you something he’s seen, or explaining which plants are good to eat, or good to treat burns or snakebites with, or good to clean your underarms with (which might have been a gentle hint), and a hundred other bits of old, hard-won botanical knowledge that are gradually disappearing across the tropics....”
Read the full post here.
Photo by Álvaro del Campo