"A World with No Commercials"
Carolyn E. Mason
The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil was the most amazing experience of my life. There is nothing better than being able to walk around freely in one of the most largely diverse plant and animal areas of the world. The best part of the Amazon rainforest was the indigenous people that live primarily off of their own land. There was an enormous difference between the way people live in the Amazon Rainforest and the way people live in the city of Rio de Janeiro . Of course this is to be expected, but the extreme differences of the Amazon Rainforest and a large city such as Rio de Janeiro was amazing. It is hard to believe that the two areas are even located in the same country. Visiting both the Amazon Rainforest and Rio de Janeiro sparked my thoughts on trying to decide which place would be a better environment to live in. There are many benefits as well as costs to living in the Amazon Rainforest and living in a large city such as Rio de Janeiro .
While in the Amazon Rainforest a family of locals was able to give our group a glimpse into their amazing lifestyles. "Studies estimate that over 2,000 indigenous tribes with more than seven million people lived in the Amazon before the arrival of Europeans." (Environmental Media Services) This amount has dramatically declined. Presently there are about 400 tribes left, and only 210 tribes known to live in the Brazilian part of the Amazon Rainforest. (Environmental Media Services) Inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest have developed natural ways of living where they can use the land for their everyday needs. I visited one families' home and much of their housing structures were made from trees of palm, and the roofs were made from the leaves. The family had gardens that served the same purpose as a pharmacy. Mostly anything one would need could be found in the area in which they lived. The family had a large crop of manioc plants which they used in cooking. The manioc plants are very versatile, and bread made from the manioc tasted amazing. The family that we visited seemed to be very close. They were all playing games together and just sitting around talking. I would imagine that living in an area such as the Amazon Rainforest would force families and communities to become very close. They cannot just hop in a car and drive to a friend's house 30 miles away in 20 minutes like one could in a town or city. Indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest must take a boat, or walk to their destinations, which takes an extremely longer time than driving a car. The lack of cars and roads means that families and groups of families must depend on each other.
The fact that there is nearly no industrialization has limited the amount of pollution people living in the Amazon Rainforest experience. I would imagine their lungs are much healthier than a person living in a city who is constantly inhaling pollutants. Truly indigenous Amazonians most likely also have a healthier state of mind than people that live in cities or industrialized areas with such technologies as televisions, computers, and telephones. They are not exposed to the violence, discrimination, and stress that are so apparently exposed in movies, television, and during everyday encounters. Indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest communicate in languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and English. There are also about 400 other languages spoken in the different regions. Some habitants of the rainforest do not even use a language to communicate because their everyday activities require no verbal communication.
The questions that arose many times in my own head while visiting the beautiful country of Brazil was If I lived here, would I rather live in an industrialized city like Rio de Janeiro, or in the heart of nature in the Amazon Rainforest. Living in a city or town would be wonderful because of the exciting nightlife, fashion industry, and the many jobs available. The pollution, poverty, and crime that are present in most cities are something that would turn me against living there. Also I am sure that children that grow up without watching television programs and reading magazines with horrible stories of murderers, seeing the deathly skinny models that walk runways and are on television and other problems in entertainment and media have a very slim chance of growing up and having the problems such as eating disorders or depression that so many people in industrialized areas have. I do not think that I could survive as the indigenous people from the Amazon Rainforest survive. I would love to be able to live primarily off of the land in which I walk, but growing up in a very industrialized area would mean a lot of adjustment time. Just as there are costs and benefits to any situation there are many to living in both the Amazon Rainforest and a city such as Rio de Janeiro . Both are amazing in their own way and offer an incredible amount for people to enjoy.
"Indigenous People." Environmental Media Services. 10 Feb 2004 .
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