University of São Paulo: Incentive to tourism in coastal communities helps to maintain caiçara traditions

The experience of the caiçaras, traditional inhabitants of coastal areas in the South and Southeast of Brazil, explains the link between man, the environment and cultural practices. Coastal communities found in the preservation of their culture an opportunity to establish resistance against the socio-environmental changes they face, ranging from pollution to real estate speculation.

Continuing the Oceans Special , Jornal da USP no Ar 1st Edition talked about the topic with Alexander Turra, professor at the Oceanographic Institute (IO) at USP and coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for Ocean Sustainability, at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEA) from USP. Turra says that the Caiçara peoples kept away from socioeconomic movements until the middle of the last century, when this isolation was broken by the opening and expansion of access routes to the coast. “[This] created a vector of occupation in these regions and a whole speculative process for the construction of summer houses.”

With the subsequent degradation of the coastal and marine environment by the action of the real estate sector, many animals, previously captured for consumption by communities, have considerably decreased in number. “But there was a counterpoint: the creation of protected areas, conservation parks, especially in the 70s”, continues the professor. The initiative, however, did little to benefit the caiçaras, since the parks did not allow people to live inside. As a result, many traditional occupants had to move to other regions, which rarely had the necessary conditions to maintain their lifestyles. “[The caiçaras] depend on the connection between the continent, the forest, the countryside and the sea.”

Currently, encouraging community-based tourism helps to spread the value and memory of Caiçara. This excursion format values ​​the typical traditions, culture and cuisine, in addition to all the population knowledge about biodiversity. “This is a cry, a cry that cannot be heard, but can be seen, felt”, says Turra. “We have to guarantee the quality of the environment, because without that, we won’t have people, we won’t have fish and we won’t have the cry, which we need to strengthen in these communities”, he concludes.

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