Aldeia Velha

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Aldeia Velha is an indigenous ethnic Pataxó reservate located in Arraial D’Ajuda, municipality of Porto Seguro in southern Bahia, 720 km from Salvador, Bahia.

The area where Aldeia Velha is located was established by the Portuguese Jesuits in 1534 as the Village of Santo Amaro, so the previous “owners” of the land called this area Fazenda Santo Amaro. Aldeia Velha (Portuguese for Old Village) was the name given by the Pataxó since several archaeological sites where found in the area, also one of the first settlements with the arrival of the Portuguese to Brazil. Aldeia Velha is located in the municipality of Porto Seguro, district of Arraial D’Ajuda (at road to Trancoso-km 03), comprising an area of ​2010 hectares. According to the socio-economic census in May 2010 its current population is estimated to be 784 inhabitants with 212 households and 250 families and a total of 1100 people who are there for study, work or live. The village is managed by a Cacique along with other leaders; the community’s economy is based on crafts, agriculture and services provided to the mass tourism network in the region which is exploiting and appropriating the Pataxó culture. There are subsistence farming (cassava, coconut, Eugenia, lemon, orange, pumpkin, etc.), some vegetable gardens in backyards, some cattle and products harvested from the woods as jackfruit, blemish, seeds and bark of biriba to be used in our accessories. The land in Aldeia Velha before the Pataxó came back was used for growing cassava. There are very few plantations now because the earth is “tired” (lacks nutrients due to the previous plantation in the area) and needs technical care, as well as our area of forest that has to be protected, (we only use sites that were already used for plantation to cause no more ecological impact in thearea). We explore the reserve in a form of etnotourism services as a sustainable alternative for the villagers. Some of us fish in the Buranhem river, which borders our area.We have 30 people working at the reservate ́s school, 90% in fixed-term contracts, 6 people working in health services, others providing services in hotels in the region and some making and selling crafts.

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