My name is Orlando Rogelio Pinedo, I am the founder of Red Uakari Jungle Tours. I was born and raised in the small village of Chino on the banks of the Tahauyo River, a beautiful tributary of the Amazon that is part of the vast Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve-an area. Tamshiyacu Tahuayo has with one of the richest and most diverse arrays of wildlife in the world. From the time I could walk, I was exploring the jungle, both on land and on the river. I grew up knowing how to make my way inconspicuously through the trees by foot and through the trees and vines in the bends of the river in my canoe with a paddle I had carved myself. I grew up hunting and fishing, using both traditional and modern techniques to help feed my family. Through training and close collaboration with teams of biologist that I led on multiple expeditions (as had my father) I learned the latin and colloquial names for the wildlife.

My deep respect for the jungle, its wildlife and complex ecosystems, comes from those daily experiences during my youth.As early as the age of 10, I prevailed on my reluctant father to allow me to probe deeper and deeper into the remote areas, where I learned to face the challenges the jungle can present with skill and confidence. My intimate knowledge of this region-its wildlife and its people-is not something I learned simply through formal schooling. It comes from my lived experience. I am of the jungle. It is in my bones. I know its sounds, can call the birds and monkeys using their greetings, and can spot and recognize the "hidden" wildlife in the trees, in the sky, on the ground, and in the water by day and night.Hungry for more education than the grade school in my village could provide, I convinced my parents to allow me to move to Iquitos on my own when I was 14. There, I earned money during the day for my living expenses and tuition for the secondary school-and later college-that I attended in the evening. But ultimately, my love of the jungle pulled me toward guiding.