How Young Indigenous, Quilombola, and Riverine People from the Tapajós River Are Becoming Rainforest Defenders

Amidst an increasingly destructive and often murderous atmosphere, indigenous communities along the Tapajós River (PA), in the Brazilian Amazon, are struggling to defend their rainforest and river ecosystems. Constantly harassed by agribusinesses, illegal mining, logging, and infrastructure construction projects, organized indigenous women and young people are raising their voices in defense of their Borari, Tupinambá, Arapiun or Munduruku land. They have become front line fighters in the global battle to stop climate change.

The youth organization Engajamundo is currently implementing the Engaja na Amazônia project. Their mission is to make young Brazilians aware that, by changing themselves and their environment, and by engaging politically, they can transform their reality. Young people in traditional communities are being challenged and trained to undertake activism, use advocacy tools, create journalistic content about threats to their environment, and become transformative leaders within their communities.

Support for this reporting was made possible by the Rainforest Journalism Fund, in association with the Pulitzer Center.



Tupí: A Story of Indigenous Courage and Resolve

As part of our series 'Rainforest Defenders,' we present the stories of five activists fighting to save the Amazon in Brazil. "Tupí," our last chapter, is an indigenous activist fighting to protect human rights in her region.

Tupí: A Story of Courage and Determination (Spanish)

A young woman from the Amazon found strength to overcome a past of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse by turning to her roots and heritage. Her story is the fifth and final in the series "Rainforest Defenders," which highlights young leaders who are fighting to protect the forest.

Drica: Resistance in the Quilombos of the Trombetas River

A young Brazilian activist is responsible for an association of six afro-Brazilian communities that face the threat of environmental destruction. Her story is the third in the "Rainforest Defenders" series, presenting five young leaders fighting to preserve the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.