We arrived to Belém in the early hours of the morning after navigating through the night! We split into two teams. Half of the guests explored the markets and joined the parade on boats, and the other half visited the Boa Vista community outside of Belém.

I joined the visit to Boa Vista, and we took a small local boat to get to the community. We cruised by tiny homes raised out of the water. We saw all the boats setting out on the water and felt the vibes of festival preparations on our way to the village. The village lent us their only transport, the school bus, to travel from the waterway to their home.

Upon arrival, we were given a talk on how people developed a shared vision to create an organic, medicinal herb farming community. Families work together by farming their own plots and supplying Brazil and all of Latin America with herbal medicines, whilst providing chances for young people to work within their community or to work and study in the city of Belém. Previously, there were no opportunities to leave the village and little work in the village. We enjoyed tasty snacks made by locals who showed us around the farm and introduced us to the manufacturing of cassava products. We were bathed in beautiful smells from an array of fragrant herbs. We also got to bathe in beautiful waters that are said to cleanse your sins.

After the community visit, we enjoyed a late lunch right on the river. The fish was tasty, and the beer was cold. This was followed by tasting açaí products right from the heart of açaí-producing lands. The açaí was bitter and tasted earthy.

Throughout lunch, we could feel the festive atmosphere growing as boats blaring Brazilian music traveled by the lunch spot!

In the evening, we were joined by an incredible band and lambada’d the night away, thanks to our ethnomusicologist, Jacob Edgar.