The annual meeting of the Association of Rural Producers of Carauari was marked by the memory of the achievements of the collective struggle in the Mid Juruá
By João Victor Campos-Silva
Between March 31 and April 2, the Instituto Juruá team attended the assembly of the Association of Rural Producers of Carauari (ASPROC). This assembly was very special, because in addition to the traditional rites of accountability, general reports and presentations of project results, the new board of directors that will lead the organization’s projects over the next three years was defined.
ASPROC also took advantage of the presence of about 300 members and dozens of partners to celebrate its 30 years of history. And what a history! The emergence and performance of ASPROC illustrates the struggle of traditional people in the Amazon. A collective struggle, that took an entire riverside population out of the clutches of the bosses, to live their freedom while teaching the world about a new way of relating to nature. On these paths there were many falls and difficulties that are still present, naturally. But we want to report the positive impact of this struggle, which is the most powerful source of inspiration for Instituto Juruá.
ASPROC was the greatest instrument of struggle of the people of Mid Jurua, who left the settlements to form communities with the help of the Catholic Church, through the Basic Education Movement. There, leaders became teachers, providing a collective engagement that grew stronger every day to bring social and human rights to the river’s edge. Afterwards, ASPROC led the creation of conservation units in the region, providing land security to the extractivists. As a result, Mid Juruá has become powerful as it is today when it comes to natural resource management and sustainability. Chico Mendes must be very proud to see this teammate’s long list of achievements!
ASPROC emerges as a courageous organization that challenges conventional projections for the future of the Amazon by placing traditional people as protagonists on the agenda of conservation and local development. This is fundamentally important in a place that is hungry for external models. ASPROC is the materialized example that if there is to be a better future for the Amazon, it will come through the hardened hands of those who live under the forest layers.
May ASPROC celebrate another 30, 60, 300 years, inspiring and helping our society to build a future with more social justice for Amazonia. We, from Instituto Juruá, wish Mr. Ecivaldo Dias Ferreira and his directors an excellent management in their newest endeavor as president of ASPROC. We also reiterate our deepest respect and admiration for this organization that does so much for the Mid Jurua and the Amazon. Long live ASPROC!