AMERICA/BRAZIL - Juvencio Piratapuia: "school is the place where to spread the sense of community in the Amazon communities"

Thursday, 2 August 2018


São Gabriel da Cachoeira (Agenzia Fides) - Education is one of the great challenges in the indigenous communities of the Amazon region. Juvencio Piratapuia is a professor in the community of Tabocal dos Pereira, municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the Brazilian Amazon.
As reported to Agenzia Fides, life in these communities has always been marked by collective experience, which is materialized in community work, called ayurí, days in which common activities, including meals, are the general feature.
Little by little this dynamic is being lost, to the point that the indigenous professor emphasizes to Fides "lately we see a growth of individualism, a decline in collective activities, lack of collaboration, everyone wants things only for himself" .
The phenomenon also has repercussions on religiosity and is an aspect that is being highlighted during the Synod of the Amazon, which is already taking place in the region.
Piratapuia emphasizes the importance of the family in religious experience, because "every family could take on the responsibility for bringing religion into the home, with their children". Moreover, the professor continues, "the school is a place where the idea of community must be spread from childhood, school is a strong point in communities, it is there that we relate more".
One of the most worrying realities is when young people leave the communities, because of the "lack of initiatives by public authorities", which translates into a lack of support for basic needs, such as health and education. In this perspective there appears a series of threats, such as "alcoholism, often present in traditional feasts, in which many young people are involved, for several days", Juvencio told Fides.
It is surprising to take into account the fact that in theory access to alcoholic beverages in the indigenous areas is prohibited. But the reality is very different, because young people "do not want to know anything about that law". The most worrying thing, according to the professor, is that "often public forces themselves favor the entry of alcoholic beverages". (LMM) (Agenzia Fides, 2/8/2018)