Pepe Rojas grew up watching and (more importantly) listening to West Peruvian Doves, Long-tailed Mockingbirds, and Rufous-collared Sparrows on the Pacific coast of his native Lima, Peru, where he later attended forestry school at the National Agricultural University of La Molina.
In the early 1990's, while a forestry student in Lima, Pepe travelled to the Tambopata region of south-eastern Peru as part of a team of researchers studying the biology and reproductive behaviour of macaws. During the 10 years he spent as a researcher and resident bird guide in this region of upper Amazonia, he honed his knowledge of the local avifauna, helped train new guides, and assisted professional filmmakers and photographers form National Geographic, BBC among others on a wide variety of projects. (As the matter fact, he plays a character in a BBC production named “Birdman of the Amazon” which is part of the series, Wild and Dangerous.) By the turn of the century, because of charisma and great people skills with his knowledge he was among the foremost naturalist-guides to what is generally regarded the most bird-rich region on Earth.
Pepe later left South America and travelled to the USA where he spent 15 years living in different parts of the country, including Santa Cruz, California, where he earned a degree from University of California in Environmental Studies. During this time, he also worked as a professional freelance guide for many international companies such as Abercrombie & Kent, National Geographic, Conservation International, World Wildlife Found, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Stanford University, University of Michigan among others as both naturalist and birding guide, and had the great fortune to travel leading tours to some of the world’s most spectacular habitats – from the Arctic to the Caribbean, the tip of South America including the Falklands and South Georgia Islands as well as Antarctica.
Missing his home country and wanting to make a direct impact in Amazon conservation, Pepe returned to Peru in 2014. In addition to his work as a professional birding guide for Field Guides Inc, various NGO’s, private tourism companies and international firms on topics of ecotourism development and conservation in Peru, Bolivia and Brazil have hired Pepe for several consultancies. One of his most rewarding experiences in conservation to date was joining the Chicago Field Museum as a member of their logistics and ornithological team for expeditions in Peru that ultimately resulted in the creation of new protected areas. He also participated as an editor of the publications of the different scientific field reports of these expeditions.
Pepe’s interests besides nature, conservation and tourism are recording bird vocalizations, photography, surfing, yoga, fishing, drawing and painting, traveling and exploring different locations alone or with his family.
Currently, Pepe lives in Lima, Peru with his wife, Abby, their four-year old daughter, Antonia and Samba, their golden retriever.