A World Away
With its varied landscapes from coastal beaches to inland opal mines and semi arid national parks in the centre, it’s an awe-inspiring destination well worth exploring. It’s also a place with a long and unique history, though not one readily embraced by modern day Brazilians. Current Government initiatives are, however, determined to change people’s perceptions and acceptance of Brazil’s fractured culture.
In an effort to promote Piaui and to revive and reinforce the importance of their cultural heritage the Brazilian Government is providing funding, a first since democracy, to promote this historically significant adventure and eco-tourism destination. Phase one is to improve infrastructure such roads, hotels, airports and training, to develop tourism as a major contributor to the state’s economy.
Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara
One of the major highlights was visiting the southern “Serra da Capivara National Park”. My first glimpse of the mysteries surrounding the last Indian tribes is this magical place where spirituality, beauty & nature meet. This archaeological reserve contains relics of prehistoric societies dating back 50,000 years. This continuous inhabitance by local indigenous Indians was, sadly, ended by physical and cultural genocide in 1889
Excluded from colonization due to its remoteness, this 130,000 hectare park was created in the 1970’s to protect the large number of sites containing the prehistoric artefacts and paintings found there. It joined the elite UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 1991.
Rock art throughout the park dates to between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago. Dating even further back – as far as an estimated 50,000 years – are remains of prehistoric animals, living alongside human groups, including sabre-toothed tigers, seven metre high ground sloths and giant armadillos the size of a car.
Students are the initial phase of building Piaui’s infrastructure. From May to June 2009 an international exchange programme starts with Australian and New Zealand students in Piaui. Students can visit the state for up to 3 months to share their knowledge with Brazilian students in tourism, hotel management, archaeology, palaeontology, environmental studies and English language skills for the guides, rangers and tourism personnel.
The Australian representative for travel to Piaui is Globe Travel, The Brazilian Travel Centre located in Melbourne. Contact them for more information about the student exchange, travel agent enquiries or retail packages for the public.
Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara
Fundação Museu do Homem Americano
Hotel Pousada Serra da Capivara
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.M