Wade Davis awarded honorary citizenship in Colombia

Photo credit Xandra Uribe

The Faculty of Arts is pleased to congratulate Dr. Wade Davis for receiving the award of Honorary Citizenship in Colombia.

Wade Davis is a Professor of Anthropology and the B.C. Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at UBC.

He first visited Colombia in 1968 when he was 14 years old, living with a Colombian family in the mountains above Cali.

“In 12 weeks I never once felt homesick,” says Davis. “To the contrary, I felt as if I had finally found home. Colombia became my lens to the entire world, for, in ways impossible to explain, the country allowed me to dream. The warmth of the Colombian people enveloped me as a young boy in a protective cloak of comfort that gave me the confidence and courage to do all that I have done in life. Colombia gave me the wings to fly.”

Davis returned to Colombia as a Harvard botany student and spent three years studying plants and Indigenous cultures in the Amazon. A former “Explorer in Residence” for the National Geographic Society, Davis has travelled the world to live alongside Indigenous people and document their cultural practices in his writing, films and photography. The author of 295 scientific and popular articles and 22 books, Davis has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

Davis was awarded the honorary citizenship on April 12, 2018 by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (watch a video of the ceremony). Davis said it was an honour to receive citizenship from a leader who has “sown the seeds of peace” and “heralded the wonder of the country through the expansion of the parks, the celebration of science and biodiversity, and the recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples.”

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