I can't recommend Gil highly enough!
I went to Santarem to report about deforestation in the Amazon (for my book Visit Sunny Chernobyl) and hired Gil as a translator and guide. Even though my requests (which had to do with deforestation, environmental damage, soy farming, and industrial infrastructure in the area) were rather unusual, Gil was relentlessly energetic in his pursuit of contacts and access on my behalf, and also proved to be genuinely interested in my area of research and eager to collaborate.
Let me list some more positives:
• He's irrepressibly enthusiastic
• He has unique and non-judgmental insight into a lot of different aspects of the region (as well as the people who visit it).
• His English is excellent.
• He knows everybody. I mean EVERYbody. He is without question one of the unofficial mayors of Santarem and environs.
• He loves hosting people, and truly loves both the Amazon and sharing it with people.
• He has a great sense of humor.
If it seems like I'm going a little overboard, it's just because the guy is one in a million. I felt very lucky to stumble onto him, and I'm not sure what I would have done without him.
Hope that helps!
All the best,