Season and Length

2012 to 2015 (4 years)


Own project

scope and location

Campo Buriti, Coqueiro Campo and Campo Alegre, communities between Minas Novas and Turmalina at Jequitinhonha – MG

municipalities visited

Campo Buriti, Coqueiro Campo and Campo Alegre, communities between Minas Novas and Turmalina at Jequitinhonha – MG

The first fase of Raízes' project on income generation at Vale do Jequitinhonha (2009-2012) focused on fair trade of craftwork using a virtual store and participation in events. [Here we talk about details of this first fase]. Yet, we noticed the stories behind the products were even more valuable than how they look like. Therefore, we asked ourselves:

"Instead of taking the handicrafts to the major centers, why don't we take the customers to the artisans?”

Thus, after three not very popular experiences, the tourism has emerged as an alternative to increase the positive impact on the community. And plus: this activity turned out to be more assertive. Besides the income flow with lodging, food and activities, tourism has increased the sale of handicrafts. When the visitors get in touch with the productive process and the artisans' lives, they tend to valorise even more their art.

Visiting the region is profitable for local population, improves socioeconomic infrastructure and adds value to the community. Apart from that, the tourists also experience a brand new universe: they have the opportunity to "live" in the house of a local familly, learn how to stir the clay with the artisans and detach themselves from technology - The cellphone doesn't work well over there.

This, for example, is the testimonial of one of the visitors:

“I loved it! I went there intending to find simplicity, to carry less weight. I wanted to have a break of my daily life in São Paulo, but I've found much more than that… I've found strengh, found a lot of energy.

And then I asked myself: where does it come from? From where those women get all that strengh?  The answer: It's enough to have only what they have in hand. What nature gives. The clay. The art.

It is an internal journey. We take it for life. And you have no idea how much we grow up with this. Thanks Raízes and Maria Sonia, That greatly enriched the trip”, said Helena Siqueira Dornellas, from the city of São Paulo.

The operation of the trips was so successful, that now Vivejar does the tourism part regularly. Here we talk a bit more about this transformation.

Positive impacts

– Wide dissemination of the culture and crafts of Vale do Jequitinhonha

– Increased self-esteem of the residents

– Income increase

Main results

Documentary about the community in french for TV5 Canadian (shown in the community main square and available on youtube with subtitles);

Community library set up with the help of volunteer tourists – More than 1,000 books collected (partnership with Livraria Mineriana);

Walls painted with natural paint technology (partnership with CPCD) by volunteer residents and tourists from the University of Florida;

Vale do Jequitinhonha published at Folha de São Paulo, Valor Econômico, Revista da Azul, Tam in the Clouds, Simple Life, Good Fluids, Sagarana PEGN and Exame;

An itinerary of immersion in the local culture: “From Clay to Art” (now in operation by Vivejar).


Number of beneficiary

  • 8 tour groups – 92 visitors
  • 09 families receiving tourists directly in their houses;
  • 160 antisans having the opportunity to show their work;
  • 500 people indirectly involved;
  • R$ 60,000 in direct income generation and an estimate of other R$ 100,000 in sales and indirect results.

Related steps