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Meet Ruben Paiva printer.gif


Ruben is a jack of all trades!

Ruben Paiva is a great asset to the Trans-Amazon Expedition Team. Not only does Ruben keep us safe in the rainforest, with his extensive knowledge of the plants and animals, but he also helps us get through Peru without complication. Ruben loves Peru, and loves to share it with us. We´re really lucky to have him on board.

What are most excited for during the expedition?

I’m most excited to go back to the Samiria River, and to begin paddling again. I’m most excited to see the pink river dolphins and a sloth.

What part of Peru do you like most?

I really like the whole of Peru: the coast, highlands, and the rainforest. It’s all worth exploring.

What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened on a previous expedition?

Nothing has ever happened that has been scary. I really like paddling the canoes. I had paddled a canoe before, but never for so long. I like being able to travel with everything you need. To be independent in the rainforest is the best part of canoeing. I also like being able to spend so much time inside the Pacaya Samiria reserve. Without the special permission we have, I would not be able to spend as much time inside the reserve. The Trans-Amazon Expedition is a great opportunity. If I were by myself, it would be very hard.

What’s your favorite animal and plant?

My favorite animal is any kind of monkey, because of how similar they are to us. My favorite plant is the kapok tree, because of how big it is.

What can we expect along our biking route?

It’s going to be fun, because we’re going light (not carrying very much). It’s going to be tiring at the end of the day. The first part we are going to travel through a desert, cross the Andes, and then it’ll be hot and humid in the rainforest and cloud forest. It’s going to be hot and humid, because it is so close to the Equator.

What do you do when you’re not on an expedition?

Eating good food, and riding my motorcycle are my favorite things to do. I love to explore new parts about the city of Lima. I also search for birds flying in the city. It’s pretty amazing how many birds are in Lima.

How many countries have you been to on your motorcycle?

Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, United States, and of course, Peru.

How is traveling on motorcycle different than by canoe?

It is very different. We have to carry everything on the motorcycle, which is similar. But I go much faster. But really, canoeing is more relaxing.

What’s different about living in Lima versus in a city in the United States?

It’s great living in Lima. It’s a big city, just like a city in the US. The best time to come is in the summer, because you can go to the beach. Nice warm weather is a great part about my city.

What did you study in school?

I studied biology. Biology is the favorite subject. I like wildlife and always have enjoyed watching wildlife and knowing about the plants in the forest. I especially enjoy knowing about how the forest works, like the relationships between animals and plants. When I finished high school at 16, I started camping and really became interested in the forest.

Peru is trying to conserve animals and rainforests. They have an office in the government that tries to protect the environment. But, there are still limitations because as an un-developed country, we have other priorities. I think they could do more.

How would you describe the rainforest to students in the states?

It is amazing, because there are so many diverse animals and plants. The adaptations the plants and animals have are incredible. If you are interested in ecology or biology, the rainforest is the perfect place.

Next week, we´re going to gather content for Cultural Connections Shelter unit. What do you think we should focus on?


My class loves to read everything about this expedition. We love how you ask us our thoughts on how to help make the trip better. You guys are really brave to be doing these trips because they are very risky.

I wish I could come with you. It looks like so much fun. Good Luck.

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