Project in Pará takes tourists to visit traditional communities in the Amazon

Most of the attractions across the country involve different natural parks, ecological reserves and green areas. Some of them are inhabited by fishing villages, quilombos, small towns or communities.

On the world stage, Brazil is one of the main powers for ecotourism and more and more entities and companies in the sector are thinking about alternatives to reduce environmental impacts in these regions, working to preserve these places with projects that seek a more sustainable development with generation. income for communities. That tourism is one of the few industries that values the conservation of natural and socio-cultural wealth, as this is the fundamental basis of its business, is nothing new. But what is the real concern when it comes to the world's largest rainforest?

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Innovative initiatives have been changing this picture and little by little prove that this is the best way. In western Pará, based in the municipality of Santarém, the Health & Joy Project – PSA is an institution that develops creative solutions to promote education and other social mobilizations in traditional communities in northern Brazil. The idea of the project is to implement practical solutions seeking the autonomous empowerment of these communities in the long term. One of the programs conceived by the project together with riverside communities in Pará, works with creative formats of community-based tourism in the amazon.

Boat of the Saúde & Alegria Project at Ponta do Icuxi, on the Arapiuns River. Photo: Gustavo Albano

The program that started as an idea to generate income in the Tapajós-Arapiuns reserve, took shape with the union of the community as actors engaged in creating the partnership and receiving tourists in an in-depth experience, showing a little of the riverside routine and culture, in addition to present the paradisiacal beauties of the reserve.

Today, almost 10 years later, the program works autonomously and is managed entirely by the community members of the region, through a cooperative that was created to meet this collaborative economy format.

THE TURIARTE – Cooperativa de Turismo e Artesanato da Floresta works as a direct articulator in the promotion of local tourism, working directly or together with travel agencies in the elaboration of itineraries in groups or individuals, offering a tourism experience in communities of the Arapiuns River. To this day, the program still has the support of PSA as one of the main agents in this work.

Anã is one of the friendly communities that are part of the reserve and has about 100 riverside families who live and survive on the resources of the forest. As a way of generating income and jobs in the region, always thinking about keeping the forest standing, a tourist itinerary was created that provides an unforgettable experience for visitors who want to know a traditional community in the Amazon.

The journey starts from Alter do Chão, village surrounded by paradisiacal beaches in Santarém. Since 2013, the program has also made available two community inns to receive these visitors on the Arapiuns River, who can choose to stay at the inn or at natives' houses, perfect for those who want a different experience and greater contact with the locals.

River beaches and sandbanks form the scene of the community of Anã, in western Pará. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Sunset in the community of Anã. Photo: Gustavo Albano

In community-based tourism, the main attraction, in addition to natural beauties, is the interaction with the natives and the cultural exchange provided in this relationship. They love to welcome tourists and do everything to make visitors feel at home. They talk about everyday life in the community, talk about curiosities and tell stories. They are, for the most part, very simple people, but full of affection and are really happy to show a little bit of the place to the outsiders who visit the community.

Anã community hostel. Photo: Davide Pompermaier / Publicity

The streets of the friendly community of Anã. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Production of stingless bee honey. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Curumins from the Anã community. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Family of Dona Mercedes and Senhor Manoel, couple who host tourists. Photo: Gustavo Albano

During low tide communities are surrounded by freshwater beaches. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Sunset at Ponta do Icuxi, Rio Arapiuns. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Production of baskets and handicrafts. Photo: TURIARTE / Publicity

In addition to managing the inn, the natives themselves work as tour guides and assist in welcoming visitors. In this aspect, tourism is used as an additional work chain, enabling sustainable ways of income directly and indirectly, creating different perspectives for the community, without forgetting to preserve the forest. Other projects are also part of the program, such as raising fish in tanks, producing flour, selling handicrafts and producing honey from the stingless bee, one of the local curiosities. Learn more about this work, check out the video:

TURIARTE – Tourism and Crafts in the Forest
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +55 (93) 3067-8000

» Alter do Chão, the most tropical side of the Amazon Rainforest
» Destination Tip – Tapajós National Forest (FLONA), in Pará
» Freshwater beaches enchant tourists in the north region
» Marajó Island – Exotic tourism in Pará
» Círio de Nazaré in Belém, the biggest religious festival in Brazil
» Travel to Manaus: tips for discovering the Amazon

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