Dare to Explore the World!
Learn about the many cultures on this planet!
Immerse yourself into their lives…..just imagine how it is to be them!
Over the years, through my career as an Environmental Scientist, I have been fortunate to observe and experience the natural beauty of many different habitats in urban, rural & remote areas. At the same time, I have also developed an appreciation for the arts & crafts of local communities.
In this blog I will show you some places/people I have visited and met, and discuss some of the issues faced by local communities. You can contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for presentations in your schools and also for escorted tours to Brazil.
Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam Complex
The hottest topic at the moment in the Brazilian Amazon is the possible construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam complex on the Xingu River in the State of Pará, Brazil.
The proposal states that the dam complex will generate 11,233 megawatts (MW), making it the world’s third-largest dam in installed capacity. It is expected to produce about 11 percent of Brazil’s current installed capacity at a cost of $16 billion for the dam complex plus $2.5 billion for the transmission lines. Once completed, it will flood vast areas of pristine Amazon forest, resulting in biodiversity loss, which will never be
recovered. Also, this affects the livelihoods of local people (i.e., Xingu indigenous and non-indigenous people), which depend on fishing and hunting for their survival.
After many protests against the construction of the dam complex in Brazil and around the world, a Brazilian federal judge prohibited the construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam complex on September 28, 2011. The judge ruled that it would interfere with the natural flow of the Xingu River, thereby affecting local fish stocks and harm indigenous people who rely on fishing to survive. However, Norte Energia, the consortium involved in building the dam is expected to appeal the ruling.
Keep tuned in for further news!
Background information – Xingu National Park
In 1961, the Villas-Bôas brothers (Orlando, Claudio and Leonardo) succeeded in getting the entire upper Xingu region legally protected as the Xingu National Park – the first huge indigenous area in all South America. The Park has an area of 2,642,003 ha (26,420 km²), with a population of approximately 5,000 indigenous people of 16 tribes. The Villas-Bôas philosophy was to allow the tribes to keep their lifestyle and to change at their own pace in a protected land, away from the bad influences of our civilization.
Thanks to the initial efforts of the Villas-Bôas brothers and the Brazilian Government, the indigenous peoples of the Xingu National Park have been able to keep their lifestyles and traditions. On the other hand, the Brazilian society has also benefited from their lifestyles. After 50 years, the park area is an oasis of cultural and biological diversity surrounded by deforested areas used as ranchlands. Their simple lifestyle is a wonderful example of survival with nature and not against nature.
The Xingu tribes have enriched our souls by opening our eyes to a different and fascinating world. We have learned about their many ceremonies regarding the natural and spiritual world. One of them, is the “Kuarup” in which they honor the dead. As a matter of fact when Orlando Villas-Bôas died, they honored him with a “Kuarup”.
Click here to learn more about the “Kuarup”
Below are the pictures of a small version of this ceremony when members of the Kayapó tribe came to São Paulo City to educate Brazilians about their culture. Enjoy!
This is one of the many crafts made by the Xingu tribes. This is a waved basket by the Matipu tribe – Xingu National Park. An ethnic group close to extinction, only 127 individuals are left in this tribe. They speak the Matipu language of the Carib family.