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The rich cultural traditions of indigenous communities in Brazil have come under threat from mainstream institutions that ignore or discredit their value. Kaká Werá works to bring indigenous cultures to the country’s mainstream, strengthening self-esteem among natives and spreading crucial insights on environmental protection and cultural diversity.
Joao Jorge Santos Rodrigues has been a life-long resident of Salvador, Bahia, the capital of Afro-Brazilian culture. He has learned how to strengthen neighborhood cultural organizations economically, legally, and by helping them provide new social and political leadership. He now hopes to spread his approach nationally.
Socorro Guterres is putting Brazil's racial and cultural history in a positive light by changing the ways in which racial identity is treated in the public school system.
Tiberio Alloggio is turning community-based ecotourism–an ideal medium for the preservation of indigenous culture and the conservation natural resources–into an effective economic solution for the river populations of the Amazon region.
As the principal biologist and field organizer of an internationally supported effort to preserve the Spix's macaw, Marcos Da-Ré has developed a new approach to conservation that places heavy emphasis on the revitalization of the human communities that share habitats with endangered or threatened species' habitats.
Thaise has developed an agrotourism model that brings new sources of income to rural families, prompts rural development, preserves local culture and community, and benefits tourists.
Brazil's more than 200 indigenous peoples are largely voiceless and suffer from the country's worst living conditions. They are often perceived by mainstream society as unusual, primitive, or violent. Vincent Carelli battles such prejudice and discrimination with Video in the Villages, a program that empowers indigenous peoples and changes mainstream societal perceptions.
Jussara Gruber is helping the Ticuna indigenous people in Amazonas State to establish stronger identity and self-respect by organizing an ethnographic Museum reflecting the Ticuna's own priorities. The Museum she has established serves as an important tool for helping the Ticuna defend their culture and lands against predatory landowners and loggers, and as a broader instrument for indigenous people's resistance, values, and rights within Brazilian society.
Tashka Yawanawá works to restore the dignity and sense of identity of indigenous communities in Brazil through a series of cultural revitalization efforts and innovative business partnerships—proving that maintaining cultural integrity need not conflict with achieving economic prosperity.
In the sertão "hinterlands" of northeastern Brazil, Francisco Alemberg de Souza Lima offers children dignified alternatives to exploitative labor by presenting opportunities in communications, media, and tourism. As a result, with their own creativity and enhanced education, the region's young people are leading their communities toward economic revitalization and cultural rebirth.