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    In the Brazilian savannah, in the backlands of my country, the land is filled with Buritis, a native palm tree that is associated with the presence and maintenance of water on the surface. Even when the soil has been mistreated by draught, it keeps streams running to the rivers. There, the Buriti is synonymous with life, with future. A future that may not be, the same future of stars... Just a projection of what has once been.

    When I saw the Buritis under the light of illuminated skies from stars that may no longer exist, it made me think of the Brazilian savannah and the threats from the expansion of agricultural frontiers. It made me think of the people who live there. 

    My country is made of simple people with resilient faces. Marred not only by the sun and time but by the forgetfulness of their own people... Marred by what we call progress. Here, progress is cotton, corn, soy and cattle. It is not education, health, safety and housing.

    The people from the backlands are determined and unshakable in their faith... You can see hope throughout their homes, where pictures from their patron saints hang from the walls, guiding their destinies.

    Yet the people there seem hopeless like their land in the dry season but abound in faith the same way the groundwater abounds in the backlands. You cannot see it underneath the sandy soil ... Just like you cannot see hope unless you look at their souls.

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