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Felix V. DiGiovanni
Genre: Creative non-fiction
Felix V. DiGiovanni was raised in the Bronx and graduated with an engineering degree from the City College of New York in 1933. Because this was in the midst of the Depression, a Colombian classmate suggested he might easier find a job in Colombia. He was well received by his classmate's family and friends. Soon he was hearing exciting stories about Los Llanos, which did not take long to lure him on his first trip. He was caught hook, line and sinker. Soon he was known as the fellow who knew more about Colombia than any Colombian. Even President Lopez knew him. After a lecture, he was written about in the country's leading magazine, CROMOS. He was sought out to become the right-hand man of Dr. Martin Grant, a botanist for the U.S. Cinchona Mission, exploring in the Andes for quinine sources. He came back to the U.S. to visit family and friends, took geology courses, married, had three children and worked as an engineer for a leading oil company. In the 1970s he visited his beloved second home twice. Both times he visited his dear friend, the rancher Don Hector Perez, but did not venture into Indian country. Colombia was no longer the most democratic and peaceful country in South America. Since the revolt of 1948, Colombia has never stabilized. He says, "I had found the Garden of Eden&most of us go through life without ever finding that bit of paradise. I feel fortunate to be among those privileged to have found it and basked in its glory and every time I remember that haunting call of the curassow."
 
 

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