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Dolly Arevalo Shapiama is a native of the Amazon. Dolly is owner of the lodges, Tahuayo Lodge and Amazon Research Center, on the Tahuayo River. Her mother taught in a jungle village before moving to Iquitos city to provide higher education for her children. From a young age Dolly was passionate about charitable work. Dolly’s deep love of the women and children of the Tahuayo River communities motivated her to start the women’s Asociacion Manos Amazonica, as well as make substantial contributions to education (Chino Village High School; scholarships for continuing education in Iquitos) and medical care (Esperanza Clinic; paying for advanced care for Tahuayo residents in hospitals in Iquitos, Lima and the USA) and start the Angels of the Amazon foundation.
Dolly’s husband Paul Beaver is owner of Amazonia Expeditions ecotourism company. Paul received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1976 and came to the western Amazon in 1980 to do zoological field research. In 1981 Paul started the Amazon’s first commercial adventure camping company, Amazonia Expeditions. Amazonia Expeditions now operates specialty travel excursions in wilderness and wildlife reserves throughout South America, as well as in Africa and Asia, but the primary focus remains the Amazon forest of the Tahuayo River basin. In 2015 Paul was honored by the University of Chicago for his contributions to conservation and humanitarian concerns with presentation of the prestigious Alumni Public Service Award.