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Brown University

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Brazil: Amazon Resource Management and Human Ecology


This paper presents a collection of stories from the communities of the Juruti Velho region of the municipality of Juruti, Pará, Brazil. The inhabitants of this region represent just one group affected by the current mining undertaking by the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). Following some important background information on ribeirinhos populations, Amazonian development, and Alcoa’s history of displacing communities, the study presents the past, present and potential future of these communities in their own words. Stories were collected in loosely structured interviews and transcribed, in order to capture what is important to the community members’ sense of identity and of place. The stories were then organized into a unified narrative, “Escutando Juruti Velho,” which presents the various perspectives held by participants. A discussion of some important features of “Escutando Juruti Velho” is included. The study concludes that the lives of the residents of these communities are rich and complex, and that though they are affected by and concerned about the activities of the mining company, their interaction with the company is but one part of their reality and experience.


Latin American Studies | Place and Environment


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