Charles Brewer Carias

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CHARLES BREWER-CARÍAS "has 16 plants, three reptiles, two insects and one scorpion named in his honor. He has endured a raft of tropical diseases, including deadly leishmaniasis, a spleen-enlarging ailment caused by the bite of a sand fly.

"In 186 expeditions into Venezuela’s backlands, Mr. Brewer-Carías has discovered the world’s largest sinkholes, on a tabletop mountain called Sarisariñama, and practiced dentistry among the Yekuana tribe, whose language he speaks fluently. He once survived by eating roasted termite larvae, and has received the Order of the Liberator award for venturing into jungle at the center of a territorial dispute with neighboring Guyana. ..

"IT has been many years since Mr. Brewer-Carías has had what many people would consider a normal job. Trained as a dentist, he practiced for nearly 20 years before devoting himself full time to exploration, writing six books about his adventures illustrated with his own brilliantly composed photographs. The New York Botanical Garden made him an honorary research associate, thanks to his studies of the use of plants among the Yanomami...

"MR. BREWER-CARÍAS became a magnet for controversy over his work with the American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, dragged into a bitter dispute over whether Indians were mistreated under their watch, as claimed in Patrick Tierney’s book “Darkness in El Dorado,” published in 2000...

"His English grandfather, Mathias Brewer, came to Venezuela by way of St. Thomas, then a Danish possession, and served for decades as Britain’s vice consul in La Guaira, a port near Caracas. His mother’s family descends from a Spanish general dispatched by Madrid in the early 19th century in an effort to reassert control over Simón Bolívar’s rebels.

"“We were counterrevolutionaries, of course,” said Mr. Brewer-Carías, who speaks English with a slight Spanish accent. “I am for an oligarchy, an oligarchy of the well prepared.” [1]

His brother is Allan R. Brewer-Carías.

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  1. For an Ex-Dentist, the Age of Exploration Treks On, NYT, accessed November 5, 2009.