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And another long journey begins...

On the 6th and 7th of June pp., in the company of Vandir dos Santos, his wife Vanilda and Mr. José, who are leaders of the quilombo of Porto Velho/SP, I went to visit and advise the quilombo of Três Barras, in the municipality of Dr. Ulisses/Paraná.

We conquered the distance and the dust, with a lot of talk in the car. We remember struggles, victories, defeats, challenges, training, manifestation... We talk about the Bible, community, faith, hope, quilombo, judicial process, territory, capitalism, food, farmland, river, water... Vanilda is the President of the Association from the Quilombo of Porto Velho/SP.


We went to Três Barras, invited by the leadership there, Mrs. Maisa. The one who indicated our name to her was Mauro, an INCRA agent from Paraná. The location is very rural and is a small village. There is the Church of the Christian Congregation, where everyone participates. Many live outside the area, as they cannot survive in the conditions they are in – they are surrounded by pine trees and constantly threatened by loggers. We were received with a delicious coffee, in the house that belonged to Mr. Agenor. His daughters live in the city and occupy the house when they are in the community, where they plant rice, beans, corn, cassava... to improve the family income.


The community had many doubts in relation to the path to be followed, until reaching the point of conquering the territory. We talk about the need to declare oneself a quilombola, to organize, to remember the history and territory occupied by their ancestors, the need for resilience, since rights are always denied and to conquer them we need to “kill a lion a day”. . Mainly the right to territory, which is systematically denied to the black and indigenous population of Brazil


The group was in a very good mood. They believe in the strength of the organization. Several tasks were left for the group to fulfill: studying the draft of the Bylaws, writing the history of the formation of the neighborhood, photographing the good things and those that harm living in the neighborhood and choosing the name for the Association.


At the end of the meeting, many questions were asked. Participation was very good, especially from women. The next meeting was scheduled for August. In the end no one left, it seemed like we didn't want to part.


We were invited to have dinner and sleep at the house of Dona Rosa and Mr. Lei (that's right – Lei), where his children and grandchildren were also. The night was very cold and the wood stove warmed us up a lot, in addition to the conversation about their experience in the neighborhood.


We returned happy and tired, but with the certainty that this journey is just beginning. God grant us health to help and advise this group of people who dream of free and green plantation territory.

Sr. Maria Sueli Berlanga, sjbp


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