World: Brazil: Return to the sources for a Guarani

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Des indigènes Guarani visitent le terrain où sera installé leur nouveau village, dans la municipalité de Marica, dans l'Etat de Rio de Janeiro, le 29 juillet 2022 au Brésil © Andre Borges community of the natives Guarani visit the land where their new village will be installed, in the municipality of Marica, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, July 29, 2022 in Brazil

Machette in one hand, portable in the other, the native leader Guarani Vanderlei Weraxunu walks the land where his community will install his new village: in the middle of the tropical forest north of Rio de Janeiro, they will finally have access to the 'water and arable land.

Originally from other regions of Brazil, around fifty natives from the Guarani Mbya ethnic group had founded the Ceu Azul village ten years ago, on the coastal municipality of Marica.

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But the land where their houses were built and the school, given by a businessman, was not fertile and the only access to the water was the supply by tanker trucks.

"150 years ago, there was a river here. But in the last century, the former owner transformed the land into a coffee plantation and that killed him.

They deleted and the river was Assécéché ", explains Vanderlei Weraxunu, spokesperson for his community, originally from the State of Santa Catarina (South).

For several years, has been negotiated with the public authorities a solution that will finally become reality: they will move 35 km away on a field of 500,000 m2 offered by the municipality where a stream flows.

Le leader autochtone guarani Vanderlei Weraxunu sur le nouveau terrain où sa communauté va s'installer, dans la municipalité de Marica, dans l'État de Rio de Janeiro, le 29 juillet 2022 au Brésil © Andre Borges The Aboriginal leader Guarani Vanderlei Weraxunu on the new land where his community will settle, in the municipality of Marica, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, on July 29, 2022 in Brazil

"We can plant" Cassava, sweet potatoes, "harvesting medicinal herbs", he rejoices.

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The Guarani Mbya also intend to cultivate native seeds, such as Guarani corn, to which they attribute a sacred character, and grow a bambouse grove to make craft objects, an important source of income for the village.


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"For the moment everything is difficult, we must bring the bamboo from other villages" to make baskets, explains Maria Helena Jaxuka, the spiritual chief of the community, feathered headdress on the head.

Des indigènes Guarani visitent le terrain où sera installé leur nouveau village, dans la municipalité de Marica, dans l'Etat de Rio de Janeiro, le 29 juillet 2022 au Brésil © Andre Borges of the natives Guarani visit the land where their new village will be installed, in the municipality of Marica, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, on July 29, 2022 in Brazil

- "Preserve nature" -

Land, surrounded by a lush forest at the top of a hill, requires earthworks. Bureaucratic procedures so that the community get the title deed should lead within a few months.

"The town hall will provide them with all the building: the huts to live, the school, a health center, a cultural center so that they can receive visitors and sell their crafts", told AFP Maria Oliveira, Coordinator of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Town Hall of Marica.

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Un enfant Guarani devant une hutte construite sur le terrain où sera installé leur nouveau village, dans la municipalité de Marica, dans l'Etat de Rio de Janeiro, le 29 juillet 2022 au Brésil © Andre Borges A Guarani child in front of a hut built on the ground where their new village will be installed, in the municipality of Marica, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, on July 29, 2022 in Brazil

Vanderlei Weraxunu is enthusiastic at the 'Idea of ​​this move whose double objective is to "preserve nature" and "culture, the lifestyle of the Guarani people".

"The Guarani people and all the indigenous peoples are guards of nature. We depend on it, it is she who gives us life. This is why we take care of it with love," he says.

The Guaranis are estimated at 280,000 in South America, divided between Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, according to a 2016 counting which brings together official data and those of NGOs.

Some 85,000 members of the Kaiowa, Nhandeva and Mbya subgroups are currently living in Brazil, more than 64,000 of which are concentrated in the State of Mato Grosso (Center-Ouest) and around 20,000 in the southern and southeast regions of the east of Brazil.

Maria Helena Jaxuka, la cheffe spirituelle de la communauté Guarani, visite le terrain où sera installé leur nouveau village, dans la municipalité de Marica, dans l'Etat de Rio de Janeiro, le 29 juillet 2022 au Brésil © Andre Borges Maria Helena Jaxuka, the spiritual head of the Guarani community, visit the land where their new village will be installed, in the municipality of Marica, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, July 29, 2022 in Brazil

AG -Mel/app/lab/mm

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