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Story Publication logo July 12, 2022

Garimpeiro Boys (Portuguese)


a child holds a kite

Many children and young people from riverside communities in the Rondônia area of the Amazon went to...

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A boy playing with a kite, in the background the mining rafts anchored on the banks of the Madeira River
The image that opens this page is of a boy playing with a kite, in the background the mining rafts anchored on the banks of the Madeira River. Image by Tulasi Resende/Amazônia Real/Amazon RJF. Brazil, 2022.

This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Amazônia Real. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

The documentary tells the story of young people from riverside communities in the Lower Madeira River region, in Rondônia, who have spent three years without access to school. In 2019 they stayed practically the entire school year without classes due to a case of corruption involving the Municipal Secretariat of Education (SEMED) and the school transportation company. At the time, children and family members reported that due to the situation many went to work in the mines. With the pandemic and the dismantling of the environmental control policy by President Jair Bolsonaro, this situation has worsened. In February 2022, reporter Thaís Espinosa and photographer Tulasi Resende traveled to the communities of Nazaré, Boa Vitória, Catarina, Conceição da Galera, and São Carlos to follow this story.


Reporting: Thaís Espinosa, Tulasi Resende, and Gabriela Rabaldo.
Interviews: Thaís Espinosa and Tulasi Resende.
Images: Tulasi Resende
Production: Thaís Espinosa
Screenplay: Gabriela Rabaldo, Thaís Espinosa, and Tulasi Resende
Edition Text and voice-over: Gabriela Rabaldo
Editing Assistance: Tulasi Resende
Aerial Images: Bárbara Umbra/Greenpeace
Drone images: Juraci Júnio
Archive Images: Thaís Espinosa - Garimpo on Madeira River
Support: Amazônia Real
Funding: Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund (Amazon RJF), in partnership with the Pulitzer Center


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