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Brazilian society is facing a deep and determining cultural transition. This transition is most noticeable in the interior of the country, where children whose parents have had no opportunity to get a formal education are now able to get a college degree and hope for a more prosperous future. However, small interior towns still offer very little opportunity for a scientific mind. Not rarely these youth must trade a prospective career for a local job that yields fast cash in order to contribute to their family’s income.

Caseara (background photo), Cantão´s neighboring town, is no different. Young professionals with a college degree who seek to pursue a career in science generally end up moving away, breaking their cultural ties to the Araguaia and gaining no direct benefits from the park itself.

We believe that long-term conservation of Cantão State Park can only be achieved if the local youth develops an enduring commitment to the park’s protection and derives pride and direct benefits from it. With this purpose in mind the Instituto Araguaia has initiated a Scientific Training Fellowship Program to assist local people of outstanding scientific potential.  We have just started, but we are surprised to find so many qualified people out there!

Born in 1992, Adriana Luz spent her childhood in the Araguaia region with her family.  Upon finishing high school in Caseara in 2010, Adriana attended a 2-year course in Environmental Management held at the local Community College FAPAF -Faculdade de Tecnologia Antonio Propício Aguiar Franco, in Pium. She graduated in 2012 among the first students in her class with high praise from her teachers and peers. The Instituto Araguaia provided her a 6-month full scientific training fellowship as part of the Instituto´s Giant Otter Project. This grant ended in December 2012.

  Help us support local talented young people