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For me, the most tragic aspect of this type of corruption is that, in the end, Indigenous people are the ones who earn the reputation of being opportunist (as I’ll discuss in the following section).Itaipú (the neighborhood of my childhood home) is also a site of Indigenous heritage. The house was not big; one-story, 2 bedrooms, and a 30 by 15 meter yard; in Itaipú, Niterói.

In other words, we can turn lakes into landfills, obliterate mountains, and build roads, as soon as we also buy exotic plants and put them on display for tourists.

This not only diminishes biodiversity to an angle in marketing strategy, it also does real damage to preservation efforts because it provides a fraudulent remedy for the issue of deforestation (we might as well sell ivory to raise money for an Elephant sanctuary or advocate for the bottling of water because we believe recycling is good).

As a kid I thought I was the most radical athlete when I climbed on the thick branches to pick the mangoes before they fell on the floor (and bruised or cracked open).

That was until I found one already cracked open while still hanging, with juice dripping down and a tiny spider with giant colorful legs sucking on it. How could a spider slice through the thick skin of a mango?

The mango, java plum, and hog plum trees were massive; imagine these 40 year old trees (at least) forming a triangle and interlacing branches like comrades in peaceful but epic resistance.

We used to put 2 hammocks between the 3 trunks, and lay all day talking and drinking mango juice.

After living in 3 different continents and I-don’t-know-how-many cities, I’m very used to leaving things I care about behind- houses, records, pets, books, routines, loved ones, familiar languages, cultures, etc.

So, if something being gone truly breaks my heart, it’s because it runs deep.

There is no need to go to the Amazon to see this kind of senseless destruction happening.

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