PURAVIDA is a project I was part of founding in Bahia, Brazil. It is a cooperatively owned permaculture farm, a cacao plantation and a place for people to come and experience a barefooted life close to nature. The farm is slowly becoming a place for the community to come and learn and interact with people from different cultures and slowly but surely knowledge is shared and exchanged.

in 2007 and 2008 when the farm was still a little baby in the eyes of the community I ran a series of drama workshops with Jamie Pike with the local children and youth in the surrounding area. Initially there was suspicion, then there was chaos as all the children in the community wanted to come to play. Eventually we came to a balance with a smaller and dedicated group of children who turned up several times a week to the sandy banks of the Rio de Contas to discover their creative side through a variety of drama exercises. As the sun slowly set and the heat of the day diminished we explored local myths and legends told by the children in a dramatized form, playing out the story of the donkey breathing fire  who chased the uncle up the tree and other local tales. Eventually we improvised a little story, told by the children themselves, which incorporated characters from their own lives- the Fazendero and Fazendera, the chicken thief, the alcoholic father, the chickens themselves….The story was performed in from of an audience of family and community members who gathered on the banks of the river by our outdoor stage and watched the children improvise, perform and sing. At the end the PURAVIDA crew improvised a little play about the arrival of the gringo in chocolate land, playing on stereotypes and community relations. It all ended in a celebration of life, love and chocolate.

our outdoor stage by the banks of the river

the audience

grand finale.

Fazenda PURAVIDA is open to volunteers open to experience the beauty of simple and barefoot living and willing to get their hands dirty. The farm is part of the Brazilian WWOF scheme but volunteers can also apply by sending an email to fazenda.puravida@gmail.com. Currently there is no education project running at the farm but volunteers can join in learning about permaculture helping with the permaculture gardens, the nursery and in the cacao plantation. There are usually plenty of projects happening such as building, improving water infrastructure or kitchen. We are also open to people who want to use their creativity and initiate their own projects.

Contact us on the email above or check out http://www.puravidaonline.wordpress.com for more information.

Check out our Flickr site for inspiration http://www.flickr.com/photos/22395023@N08/

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