Much is said - or imagined - about an untouched Amazon, far away from everything and everyone. But when we arrived in Novo Airão more than 15 years ago, one of the things that struck us most was the strength of its communities. The immensity of the forest, its sounds and smells: all of this is profoundly intense, of course, but how can you be immune to the story of those people living in small villages by the river?
When we decided to build a lodge immersed in the forest, we were sure that our story would be built together with these people. Anavilhanas would function as a way of realizing their potential. An opportunity for more and more people to come into contact with the richness of the forest and its inhabitants, exactly as they are. Today we are certain that there would be no Anavilhanas if it weren't for these characters, with their knowledge, their culture and their stories: more than 85% of our workforce is local, we prioritize small producers, we preserve teachings brought from nature and so on.
Right from the start, we made it our mission to value and empower these communities and so we started various initiatives in villages such as Tiririca and Santo Antônio. We've always had two questions in mind: how can we help their residents to have a better quality of life without changing all their wisdom and connection to the place? How can we give them the tools to develop in the most sustainable way possible and enable them to carry on independently?
There are no simple or ready answers. It's something we build every day together with the protagonists of this story. With listening, care and respect.
And the creation of the Anavilhanas Institute, which took place in 2022, is about all of this: the formalization of work that began back when we first saw the Amazon transform us. It comes from the long-standing desire to value and empower these communities to go further and further. After all, they are the true guardians of the forest, bravely fighting for its existence.
Our desire with the Anavilhanas Institute is to organize and give voice to this work, so that more people can contribute and give back to the Amazon a little of the overwhelming experience it offers.
Find out more about our main actions, which follow different fronts - education, health, sustainable local development, the environment and support for research in the Amazon - all focused on valuing and strengthening the potential of communities.