Brazil

Munduruku communities

Installations Completed: July 2016 and April 2017

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

The Amazon Basin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as one of the last remaining lungs of our planet, and is home to thousands of unique indigenous communities, which rely on the region for their survival. All of us on Earth benefit from the region’s biodiversity.

In Brazil, the Munduruku people have been fighting a series of proposed dams that would destroy their rainforest homes and threaten their traditional way of life. Empowered by Light has installed solar systems in four Munduruku communities to allow them to reliably store fish, a dietary staple, in solar-powered freezers. Solar energy also powers lights and allows the Munduruku to charge cell phones and keep in touch with other communities and with allies at home and abroad.

Empowered by Light is collaborating with Amazon WatchGreenpeace-Brazil, and others to build small, replicable solar systems for indigenous peoples like the Munduruku who are struggling at the intersection of conservation, conflict, and livelihood development. These systems allow these indigenous groups to thrive as autonomous but connected communities, while also increasing their capacity to share their stories, struggles, and solutions with the wider world.