Hello friends of the world. My name is Béder Chávez. I am a naturalist guide working in the tourism field for over twenty-six years in the area of Iquitos. I was born near the mouth of the Rîo Napo near Iquitos and raised in a typical river village. I spent my boyhood swimming, fishing, and going to school by canoe. I have been married since I was twenty-one years old. My wife and I have four children. They all live in Iquitos. When I am not guiding, I live there too.
I went to Iquitos to study in secondary school, but never finished because one day I started to work in a tourist lodge as a house boy. There I learned English, French and Italian. Later I became a guide and got hooked on the job and never went back to formal school. Since then I have taught myself many subjects. That is how I became a self-taught naturalist guide.
I am also a painter. I usually paint on paper or canvas with acrylics and watercolors. I paint birds, flowers, butterflies and other things from the forest. I like to paint nature because I am a nature lover. I like to take photos for my family, friends and for myself. Three years ago I began to take slide pictures and I do slide shows for tourists. My next project is to make postcards out of my pictures to sell.
Another thing I like to do is to write poems. I have written more than one hundred and twenty poems in Spanish. Last year I translated thirty of my poems to English with the help of a North American friend. I haven't published any of them yet.