Short History of Pevas
BY S. HUMFELD
Pevas (alternately spelled Pebas) is located just inside the mouth of the Ampiyacu River about 90 miles down the Amazon River from Iquitos, Peru. At 3 degrees South, 73 degrees West Pevas is directly south of New York City and Bogota, Colombia.
Pevas was founded in 1735 by Padre Adan Viedman, a Jesuit priest, making it the oldest settlement on the Peruvian Amazon. Viedman located on the village of the Shishita River, just a short way down the Amazon from the Ampiyacu. In 1769 the Jesuits were expelled from Ecuador by the Franciscans and in 1851, after the Jesuits were displaced by the Franciscans, Padre Valdivia moved Pevas to its present location on the Ampiyacu (Ampiyacu is a Quechua word for "medicinal waters"). At the time of its founding, a number of indigenous peoples populated the area including; Pebas, Caumaris, Boras, Huitotos and Ocainas.
Pevas (population approximately 3,500) is the capital of the Distrito de Peva (like a county) and has a total population of about 12,000 people spread over nearly 24,000 square miles in 80 villages. Pevas is the commercial hub of the region and exports fruit and fish to Iquitos and down river to Colombia.
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