Faces of the River
In the Amazon, everything comes by boat. On the shore of one of the biggest rivers in the region, several villages survive exclusively from local resources, with no comfort or infrastructure, and using a handmade boat to get around. They…
In the Amazon, everything comes by boat. On the shore of one of the biggest rivers in the region, several villages survive exclusively from local resources, with no comfort or infrastructure, and using a handmade boat to get around. They are known as “ribeirinhos”, which translates to “people from the shore”. On board of a ship, educators and volunteers go up the rivers sharing not only education, but love and kindness to the communities. There are no schools deep in the jungle, so any kind of information or instruction is very welcome.
Because the life by the shore is very different from the city life, the kind of knowledge shared by this program is specifically designed for those who live in rural areas and their everyday obstacles. From how to filter your water, to social interaction games and “how to brush your teeth” seminars, this crew of “angels” cruise up and down the river looking for those who need aid. Elis, our main character, leads one of the teams of collaborators to a certain village, hours away from the capital. Integrated with Project Saúde Alegria (Health and Happiness), she works as an art educator whose main focus is to bring a new perspective and awareness to the villages through art, music and playful presentations. With some paint on her face and an open heart, she spreads affection and information for those who came out to play. The method is very effective, because everyone can have a good time and learn something essential that could change their lives. Gathered under a shelter without walls, teacher and students become one and connect, while singing the same lyrics of a local song. Projeto Saúdee Alegria has existed for more than 30 years and has a very strong presence in the communities from the state of Pará, in Brazil. From education to health programs, it sponsors numerous projects around the rivers, assisting more than 1000 ribeirinhos every year.