Directors and Officers
Peruvian Amazon Conservation, Inc.
Atlanta, GA, USA
|Eleanor B. Smithwick, PhD
|Anne W. White, MD, FAAFP
|Mitzi Adams, MS
|Clever Hoyos R.
OFFICERS and FIELD STAFF
Conservación de la Amazonia Peruana
(CAP), Iquitos & Atún Cocha, Perú
B. Smithwick, PhD
Del Agila R.
Eleanor B. Smithwick, PhD, the Founder and Executive Director of PAC, is a Biomedical Research Consultant in the Department of Physiology, Emory University School of Medicine, and an Affiliate Scientist at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University. Dr. Smithwick earned a BS in Biology with a minor in education at Stetson University and a PhD in Entomology, specializing in insect physiology and biochemistry at the University of Georgia. In 1973, she was awarded a National Research Service Award fellowship by NIH, National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, to continue postdoctoral training in human physiology and biochemistry until 1978.
For the last 27 years she has conducted scientific research in male reproductive physiology and has published 24 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 26 abstracts of presentations given at scientific meetings. Between 1979 and 1985, she held a Joint Assistant Professorship in Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, and in Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences at Georgia State University (GSU). In 1982 as Principal Investigator, she was awarded a NSF, Biological Instrumentation Grant and matching GSU funds for the purchase of a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope.
She designed and managed GSU's first Electron Microscopy Research Laboratory and trained graduate and undergraduate students to conduct research in electron microscopy. In 1985, she resigned from GSU to continued her scientific research and teaching of graduate medical physiology as an independent contractor. This career move allowed Dr. Smithwick the flexibility to spend 2-4 months each year living among the people in the tropical rain forests of the lower Napo River region of northeastern Peru as they live. During the early years, the concept of PAC, as an organization committed to helping people to themselves to a healthier life and better future, developed.
In 1991 Dr. Smithwick founded and registered PAC as a non-profit corporation in the State of Georgia. In 1998 the PAC health post was completed and continues to serve the 14 surrounding communities. In 1999 PAC was recognized as tax exempt under IRS code 501c3, and contributions became tax deductible. For more information about Dr. Smithwick, email email@example.com
Clever Hoyos Rengifo was born on 20 June 1962 in Paiche Huahua, a small community of 15 families on an island in the Napo River, north of Iquitos. He lived on this island with his mother, one sister and five brothers. Clever's oldest brother lived with his father in the village of Yanamono, another small community on the Amazon River. When Clever was about five, his only sister was sent to live with a family in Lima, and he did not see her again until he was about 12.
During his first 12 years, Clever's father only came periodically to stay with the family for a few days. His mother could not read or write, but she was an excellent farmer and was able to support her family as a single mother. Clever and his brothers worked on the farm, so he was only able to finish the first grade in Paiche Huahua. When the family moved to San Alejandro for a year, he was able to finish the second grade...at age 13.
In 1976, Clever's father abandoned the family completely, and was replaced by a stepfather with his six children. The clan moved to Iquitos, so the stepfather could work in the new oil exploration business, and his mother could work selling produce in the market. Clever started third grade at the age of 14 and also worked as a cargo carrier to bring produce from the port to his mother's produce stall. In Iquitos, Clever was able to finish grades three and four, but during that time, his stepfather’s oil job ended when no oil was found. Clever’s stepfather and the children who were not in school then went to San Roque on the banks of the Ucayali River, South of Iquitos.
In the middle of the fifth grade, Clever's mother and her children moved to San Roque to join the step family. In San Roque, Clever finished grades five and six, thus finishing elementary school at age 17. Clever's mother wanted a better future for her children, so she sent Clever back to Iquitos to look for work and to live with his oldest brother, who worked in tourism. There was no work in his brother's company, so he went with his brother's mother-in-law upriver in the Momon River to work as a lumberman, but after six months that job ended and he returned to Iquitos.
From 1979-1983, Clever began to work in Iquitos alternating between two American tour agencies. As a good worker, Clever moved quickly from gardener, to housekeeper, waiter, bartender, outboard motor driver, and finally tour guide. While listening to the tourists, he learned to speak English. Also during these first years in tourism, he entered high school, finished grades seven and eight, and met his wife, Erlinda. Clever's mother passed away in 1983, and his stepfather died about 1988.
In 1987, Clever began working as a bilingual tour guide for a Peruvian tourist agency, and he guided the first group of students that Dr. Eleanor Smithwick brought to the Amazon. Thereafter, each time Eleanor came to the Amazon with groups, Clever served as their bilingual guide. In 1989, donors provided the first funds to begin the Atún Cocha Project, which eventually became Peruvian Amazon Conservation, Inc. During these early years Clever helped Eleanor learn the regional language, understand the local culture, and plan the educational programs for the project, and...Clever began to read English.
In 1990, Dr. Smithwick invited Clever to work full time, and the Atún Cocha Project was born. In 1991, the Atún Cocha Project was chartered in Georgia as Peruvian Amazon Conservation, Inc. (PAC) and Clever became Assistant Director. As Assistant Director of PAC, Clever manages all the activities of the field office in Iquitos, builds all the buildings for the jungle health post, and administers all the activities of the health post in Atún Cocha. In 2000, PAC was inscripted in Lima as Conservación de la Amazonia Peruana (CAP), a non-governmental organization of development, with Clever as Presidente.
In 1998, Clever finished grades nine and ten in Iquitos and he currently lacks only one grade to finish high school. Clever married Erlinda del Aguila Ruiz de Hoyos in 1996, and they live in Iquitos with their two children who are in high school.
Anne W. White, MD, earned a BS in Medical Technology at Georgia College and an MS in Biology at Georgia State University, under the guidance of Eleanor B. Smithwick, PhD., the Founder of Peruvian Amazon Conservation, Inc. After receiving her MD from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. White completed postdoctoral resident training at the Floyd Medical Center Family Practice Program and achieved the distinction of Fellow in Family Practice which she shares with about 30% of family practitioners.
Dr. Anne, as she is known to her patients, has devoted her professional career to women's health, and she established The Womens Center, an affiliate of Floyd Medical Center, and served for five years as the medical director. The Women's Center was the first medical center in northwest Georgia that was devoted entirely to comprehensive management of women's health issues. As a specialist in women's health care, Dr. Anne provides both primary care and consultation services for the management of medical and gynecological problems of women from the age of 12 throughout maturity. Dr. White sub-specializes in Osteoporosis, is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist with the International Society of Clinical Densitometry, and was the first physician in northwest Georgia to provide bone density testing.
As an independent practitioner, Dr. White has just opened Park Avenue Women's Health in Rome, Georgia, a new private practice still devoted to all aspects of women's health. Dr. White is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, and the International Society of Clinical Densitometry. She is on the speaker's bureau for several pharmaceutical firms. She is a member of the Floyd Healthcare Foundation, and in that capacity, she presents the Tar Wars curriculum to area fifth graders.
Although the collaboration between Drs. Eleanor and Anne has continued since graduate school in 1980, Dr. Anne formally joined PAC in 1991, and she has continued to serve as the Medical Director and the President of the corporation. For more information about Dr. White, access her website http://www.drannewhite.com
Mitzi Adams, MS, earned the MS degree in Physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the BS from Georgia State University. Since 1988, Ms. Adams has worked for NASA as a solar scientist. In that position, she has been active in education and public outreach, frequently interacting with students from kindergarten through college.
In her spare time from 1991-2006, Ms. Adams served the Von Braun Astronomical Society as its planetarium director. Through that organization, Ms. Adams presented educational programs to over 14,000 students. These programs included typical hour-long programs and weekend sleep-overs for Girl Scouts.
Ms. Adams affiliation with Dr. Smithwick began approximately thirty-five years ago when Ms. Adams was an observatory assistant at Fernbank Science Center, where Dr. Smithwick was employed. The friendship and collaboration was rekindled after Ms. Adams visited Peru in 1994 and shortly thereafter, Ms. Adams began yearly donations to PAC. Through travel and education, Ms. Adams is keenly aware of environmental pressures and issues and hopes to have an effect on local issues as well as global ones. With this philosophy, Ms. Adams joined the PAC Board in 2006 as the Secretary and Director of Education. For more information on Mitzi Adams, see a recent story on SpaceRef.com or send email to adamsml @ pipeline.com.