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Team

The Small World Adventures team has the experience and training to make your kayaking trip to Ecuador the paddling vacation of a lifetime!  Having spent years paddling on all of the best rivers in Ecuador, we know the lines at all water levels. We also know how important being a part of the local community is which is why we hire local guides, cooks and drivers. We are proud of having built an incredible staff that are here to ensure you go home tired and happy! We understand that you came to Ecuador to paddle and we’ll get you on the river all 7 days you are with us.
  • Darcy Gaechter

    Darcy Gaechter grew up skiing and adventuring in Aspen, Colorado. In 1996, she became a river guide and has been guiding kayaking and rafting trips ever since.  Darcy is the first and only woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. Check her adventure/memoir about the experience-Amazon Woman and learn what it took for […]
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  • Don Beveridge

    Don first started paddling in Ecuador in 1995.  After guiding for Small World Adventures for 17 seasons, he took some time off to join Darcy in paddling the Amazon from source to sea.  After paddling over 400 different rivers in 23 countries, he still hasn’t found any place quite as good as Ecuador.  He probably […]
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  • Andres Charpentier

    Andres Charpentier was born and raised in Quito, and is now a resident of Tena. Andres is a professional, dedicated kayaker and guide. @andrescharpentier says, “I got into kayaking after a couple of years of raft guiding. It was after one of the old-school guides said to a bunch of us, “a raft guide who […]
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  • Byron Lopez

    Byron is a Class V kayaker and an experienced kayak guide who was born and raised in Tena, Ecuador. Byron is a trip leader for SWA and an all-around awesome guy. His solid work ethic, combined with his easy-going nature and friendly smile make him easy to get along with. His energy and enthusiasm for […]
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  • Bladimir Cerda

    Bladimir was born and raised in Tena near the Jatunyacu River. He is Kichwa and brings great local insight to the team. He speaks Spanish, Kichwa, and English. When he was younger, he saw a group of kayakers paddling past his home one day and decided he wanted to learn this sport. He met a […]
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  • Jair Robles

    Jair Robles was born and raised in Tena. He joined the SWA guide team in 2019 and brings a great youthful energy to our program. Jair has spent his life swimming and playing around the rivers. He was lucky enough to learn to kayak from his father at a young age. Jair says, “I love […]
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  • Brayan Robles

    Brayan Robles is from Tena, Ecuador. He’s spent his entire life in Tena surrounded by green jungle and crystalline rivers, the perfect place to be a kayaker! Brayan learned to kayak at a young age from his family. His uncles and friends were key to introducing him to the sport in a safe and fun […]
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  • Liam Kirkham

    Liam grew up in the North of England and started kayaking as part of a college course in outdoor education. He was instantly hooked, and he has spent much of his time since in a kayak or planning kayak trips.   Liam has paddled all over the world and guided for Small World in both Ecuador […]
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  • Larry Vermeeren

    Larry started paddling in Colorado on the Arkansas River, and his passion for kayaking quickly eclipsed his career as a contractor. He traveled extensively throughout Central and South America (leading kayaking trips in both Honduras and Chile) before finding his home away from home–Ecuador. Now he splits his time between the rivers of Ecuador and […]
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  • Memo

    No Small World Adventures kayaking trip would be complete without being driven around the country by Memo Bonilla. Memo grew up in Quito and has been with SWA for twenty years. He is, without a doubt, a vital member of our team. Memo is not only the safest driver in Ecuador, but he’s also the […]
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  • Franca Morillo Burgos

    Franca is SWA’s head chef and she understands how important good, healthy food is on a kayaking adventure. She came to Ecuador (from Colombia) when she was 15 years old to work in a restaurant in Tena.  She worked there for 5 years and then quit to raise 4 children and to run a grocery […]
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  • Carmen Saavedra

    Carmen is the newest edition to the SWA team! She grew up in Santo Domingo on the Western Slope of the Andes, but now lives in Borja. Carmen learned to cook from her mother and sisters and developed a passion for it at a young age. Since then, she has worked in many restaurants where […]
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