The open helping hand: Brazilian Army Mission

The initial encounter the immigrants face when crossing the border is the military. This indeed may be a source of fear and concern including some other parts of Brazil; but not in Pacaraima. In the border city between Brazil and Venezuela, the military extends it’s welcome and helping hand. The Operação Acolhida (Operation Welcome) wasContinue reading “The open helping hand: Brazilian Army Mission”

Miriam and the fight for the rekindle of dreams

“Leila, I have not taken a vacation in two years. I’ve been in the migration influx for two years”, is what Miriam shares with me as we talk at the historic wooden table of the Casa da Música (House of Music). Major decisions about the welcoming of immigrants in Pacaraima took place here: First meetingContinue reading “Miriam and the fight for the rekindle of dreams”

Milagros: the voice of the Waraós in Brazilian lands

Milagros has the sweet voice that only someone with that name (Miracle) could have. Her smile and the tranquillity in her eyes almost hides the pain and anguish as she tells me her story while watching the rehearsal of the Canarinhos da Amazonia Choir in which her daughter, Rosa Mística, sings. She narrates the lifeContinue reading “Milagros: the voice of the Waraós in Brazilian lands”

Pacaraima: when hope catches on fire

On the 18th of January, I got on a bus that took me from Boa Vista to Pacaraima. I didn’t know what to expect but felt compelled by the heart to go and understand how life worked on the Brazil-Venezuela border. Now, looking back, I understand exactly what brought me there. In a crazy way,Continue reading “Pacaraima: when hope catches on fire”