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The Brazilian Amazon: The legacy of an eco-martyr

National Catholic Reporter

Story and Photos by PAUL JEFFREY Para, Brazil
Publication date:
July 11, 2008

The Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon Deep in the Brazilian Amazon,

Antonia Silva Lima lives in a place called Hope. She came to the rain forest more than two decades ago, following thousands of other migrants fleeing poverty in other parts of Brazil. The settlers moved deep into the forest and cut down trees to grow subsistence crops, only to be chased off their small plots by gunmen at the hire of government-sanctioned wealthy land grabbers. Then four years ago Lima and her family joined a small gathering of peasant farmers committed to living sustainably in the middle of the jungle without cutting it down. She was encouraged to join the project by Dorothy Stang, a sister of Notre Dame de Namur who gave the village its name: Esperança — the Portuguese word for hope. Continue reading The Brazilian Amazon: The legacy of an eco-martyr