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The Boat People

© Gui Christ

In 2016 a massive group of the Venezuelan indigenous Warao people arrived at the biggest Brazilian northern port of Manaus, seeking shelter and to escape from the severe living conditions. They had endured decades of environmental and social problems aggravated by the huge economic crisis that hit the country in the last years.

The Warao had their life changed during the 60’s with the illegal exploration of their territory by cattle ranchers and specially in the 90’s by environmental impacts caused by the oil exploration industry along their birthplace, the Orinoco river delta.

Due the contamination of their lands, many moved to urban areas and started depending on governmental support to survive. Not only for that, the Warao were affected by a HIV epidemic which rapidly began to extinguish their population.

Since the economic crisis hit Venezuela in 2015, the state donations stopped and forced the indigenous group to migrate to neighboring countries. After three years since the first group arrived, their migratory population rapidily increased and now almost ten percent of their natural population reside in Brazil.

This is an on-going project that aims to documenty who are the Warao that moved to Brazil and how they are adapting in their new country.

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