I like Rio Branco. It is not a big city, as are most Brazilian capitals. Rather, it is a pleasant middle-sized city, kind of like Madison. And I have to admire the way Acre is run. They are progressive in the sense of the word I remember in the Wisconsin of my childhood. It is a kind of progressive conservatism. They are trying hard to make life better for the common people, while conserving their environment & making it worthwhile to work hard, all the while affirming the traditions and the values of the people of Acre. You can see picture of Rio Branco above. The statues are based on ordinary people walking the city’s streets. Below are the Nelore cattle now so common in Brazil. They can thrive on low quality food and are adapted to hot weather. Being white is good for reflecting the tropical sun.
The Economist ran an article in its recent issue. I suggest that read at this link.
Acre is still underdeveloped. We stopped at a store, one of the few places you could stop along the only road between Rio Branco and Taraucuá. The “bathroom” literally consisted of a pot to p*ss in. Above is the store and a few other pictures I took from Mariza’s Facebook.
There is a joke in the other parts of Brazil asking if Acre really exists. Acre does and its development is breaking new ground. They are trying to find ways to make it as profitable or more profitable to keep the forests intact than to cut them. I think this is possible, although I think there needs to be some modifications. For example, a strong conservation ethic requires/requires hunting and timber harvesting. I think that in the longer run some of the preservation will need to give way to conservation, although it is understandable that preservation will seem more urgent right after so much was threatened or destroyed. Below you can see the pasture and erosion. The tree on the little hump of land is presumably the former level. Most of the clearing took place in the 1970s. The grass is growing well.
So Acre is my kind of place … almost.I love the forest protection & I really like the way they celebrate and help common people.But Acres is a little too hot for me.I miss the season and the cold, or at least the cool that I grew up with. I guess I am getting homesick.I love Brazil, but America is where my soul will always abide.