When we arrived to Ubatuba from São Paulo on our three hour bus ride, our first instinct was to go for a swim at the beach. Our Hostel was located quite close to the local beach in Ubatuba. There were two beaches nearby, a calm family-friendly beach, and a surfer’s beach with 3 meter waves; Of course we choose to go to the rough beach. When we entered the water, most of us got thrown back out by the giant waves.
The first indigenous community that we visted was Boa Vista community, which was filled with the Guarani culture. This community has about forty families, a health clinic and a school. They told us that during January they live off the land; and for the rest of the year they have adapted to utilise modern aspects such as grocery stores. We all met in their meeting house, which is similar in some aspects to a Marae. All their sacred instruments were placed at the front of the meeting house which included their indigenous musical instruments. They invited us to be marked with their indigenous temporary tattoos, which most of us received. We were also privileged enough to listen to their singing in the Guarani language. In which we exchanged with waiata from our side.
We visited Gaiato which was founded in 1992, located in the Ipiranguinha neighbourhood. Their mission is to support young locals to strengthen themselves about their rights. This is a a youth center space filled with music, art, sewing, graphic design, pottery and dance. A couple of the students came down and showed us their work and how they create music; they use recycled items to make sound.
The second community that we visited was Quilombo da Fazenda. This area was located in the Atlantic Rainforest; where we were allowed to have a quick swim in the waterfall. We were provided with a traditional Quilombo meal, which was delicious. We were given a tour of their plantations filled with cacao bean trees, from which we got to taste the pulp around the seed. We saw red plants which is good for your skin, so we all got to try some of those as well. We also saw natural shampoo plants. We were shown a traditional cultural dance, and we were invited to join in.
We met with a couple of indigenous students from the Institute of Psychology, they told us about their cultures and what they are studying at the university. We exchanged culture and gifts. We invited them back to the hotel with us so we could have dinner together; as we were very connected and enjoyed their company.
The third community we visited the Kalipety Indigenous Community where they also provided us with a delicious meal. We were shown around their community and looked at their plantations, where some of their food are thriving. We were also taken to their freshwater spring through their rainforest. Their plantations used to be filled with eucalyptus back in the day, now the area is thriving with native plants.
The fourth community we visited was the Landless Workers Movement. We were shown around their community garden tutoring area and health care center. We shared culture and understanding, we were very connected with these people and shared similar aspects in life. We also exchanged taonga.
Lastly, we visited the Indigenous Land: Tekoa Yvy Porã – Jaraguá. In this community, we learnt a lot about their environment and how they look after their environment. We were shown their bee hives which include five different species. We also learnt about their trapping methods from the land and in the river. We exchanged culture with waiata. They also provided a very nice lunch.