NAI International Conference – Brazil 2019

This international conference on interpretation welcomed interpreters from around the world. We shared our stories and our ideas and we were inspired by the latest global trends. However, the best part was forging new and enduring friendships over a caipirinha or two. Hosted in the scenic, cultural, and recreational mecca of Rio de Janiero, it was a blast!

Acting Locally, Connecting Globally

The theme of the conference was “Acting Locally, Connecting Globally.” Opportunities were presented to link our efforts across professional boundaries, international borders, and cultural differences. The highlight…our field trip to the Golden Lion Tamarins of Silver Jardim. What a rare and memorable day spent with Luis Paulo Ferraz  and his team at Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD).

A lavish lunch was hosted by Ayrton and Ana Violento who run an organic family farm, Fazenda dos Cordeiros – Farm of the Lambs.  They also grow Atlantic Forest seedlings for AMLD reforestation projects. Of course another occasion to celebrate with new friends over…you guessed it, caipirinhas.

Great people doing fantastic work but they need our help. During the day we spoke with Luis about getting a working group together to help with the interpretation of their visitor and research centre. We also spoke with Ayrton and Ana about helping to lift the profile of their ‘farmstay’ business which would in turn provide funds for further supporting Luis’ project. Many of our interpretive colleagues shared this interest and are keen to head back to Silver Jardim to help out. We are hoping it will develop into an informal international interpretive working group.

Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls – another highlight of our adventure

Golden Lion Tamarins

A striking species, Golden Lion Tamarins are small, social South American primates with a magnificent reddish-gold coat and a long, backswept mane. Once down to 200 in the wild, intensive conservation efforts have helped the population recover. Still an endangered species, there are about 3,200 in the wild—a third of which are descendants of tamarins raised in human care. Only about 5% of the Atlantic Forest remains due to long term agriculture and intensive farming.

Visiting the tamarins and walking through the Atlantic Forest was a unique experience. Mico-Leão-Dourado Association (AMLD) is a private conservation body monitoring a  tamarin group  and planting corridors to connect the remnants of Atlantic Forest. The goal of the AMLD is to achieve a sustainable population of 2,000  tamarins per 25,000 hectares of protected and connected forests by 2025. About 40% of the goal has already been achieved in protected areas.

Partnering with some like-minded interpreters, our aim is to assist this wonderful organisation using an number of different platforms to get the message out there! Looks like a reason to go back.

Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin

Fazenda dos Cordeiros – Farm of the Lambs

After our visit we enjoyed a wonderful lunch of typical Brazilian cuisine at Fazenda dos Cordeiros, a private reserve on a local farm. Ana and Ayrton have created an oasis in a unique setting where they run an organic family farm. Projects include:

  • bringing kids from the cities to experience the farm, how it works and what farmers do
  • a walking organisation that takes people on hikes through the forest and hills
  • growing orchids
  • growing seedlings and planting trees to reforest the amazing Atlantic Forest
  • last but not least, they have a B&B where you can enjoy their hospitality and
  • while you are there plant a tree for the Golden Lion Tamarins with Luis and his team

What an inspiring place to stay – enjoyed by Harrison Ford and many more. Their farmstay has it all including work away options.

Fazenda dos Cordeiros
Fazenda dos Cordeiros – Farm of the Lambs
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