The Jequitinhonha Valley is located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and is home to the Jequitinhonha river. The valley is one of the poorest regions of Brazil and has an approximate population of one million people, distributed into about 80 municipalities. It is a region of stark contrasts. The poverty, a result of the persistent droughts and lack of jobs, coexists with a rich culture and strong social capital. It is a region where men spend most of their time away from home, in the big cities, where they work in civil construction, and where women are left to raise their children, take care of the elderly and maintain their households while also generating income through subsistence farming, handicrafts and most recently through community-based tourism. Known for its inventive and unique artistic spirit, the Jequitinhonha Valley is home to a variety of beautiful and creative manifestations, which include: leatherwork, embroidery, weaving, drawing, music, wood sculptures, basketry, painting and ceramic crafts. This all began back in the day when women, who used to be called “paneleiras” (pan makers), started to work the clay that is commonly found in the region for utilitarian purposes. Embark with us on, not only ceramic arts immersion, but also a journey of genuine and loving camaraderie with these female artisans of clay and life!
Vivejar is a social enterprise that helps create a positive impact. We believe companies have the capacity to positively shift and transform the world into a better place. In our case we do it through transformative travel. The purpose of our work is: To improve every community we work with; To encourage every person who travels with us to think about their role in the world; To provide an alternative source of income to the communities we work with as well as support communities and visitors in their search for positive transformation. As a consequence, the world becomes a better place.
Soon we will leave Belo Horizonte to Diamantina, considered by Unesco as Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. It is one of the main historical cities in Brazil, where a simple walk through the streets and houses provides a trip to Brasil Colonial.
After the Breakfast, we departure to Turmalina, in the rural area that is located Campo Buriti, our final destination. This will take around 4 hours. We will be welcomed by our artisans hostesses and have a delicious lunch. Later, we set out a walking tour to get to know the pathways for the collection of clay and the collection process of this raw material of the beautiful art pieces. Time to meet the young community leaders, taking advantage of the beautiful landscape of Minas Gerais. In the evening, we can exchange the first experiences and share a delicious dinner with the hostess family.
After a typical breakfast, it´s time to Time to really put your hands to use: the artisans teach us how to beat and sift the clay, how to knead and pass the clay through a sieve before mixing it with water and shape anything from your imagination. It´s a great moment for interaction and laughs. Fun is guaranteed! After a special lunch in one of the family backyard, time to visit Campo Alegre, another local community with more than 70 artisans. It´s a wonderful opportunity to walk around the village and interact with locals. Back to Campo Buriti, shower and rest at your host family.
After breakfast, we will attend a unique painting workshop where we will learn about the magic of color transformations done with natural pigments. In the afternoon, we will visit the local women association and have a conversation circle in the women association. Time to interact locally. At night, we will have one of the most special moments of the trip: the Ceramic Firing Ceremony! Time to burn the ceramic produced from the group. The celebration will have a local musicians playing guitars with tradition musics, appreciating a unforgettable dinner.
We will start the morning with a delicious breakfast in the house of one of the most famous ceramic artist of the region: Zezinha. There, we will chat and visit her beautiful ceramic garden, a real outside museum. After, we will take part in a different type of hands-on experience while we participate in a Dulce de Leche or Biscoito workshop. After lunch, it's time to say good bye to the community and our lovely hostesses. We will take our produced pieces as a reminder of this experience. We continue to Diamantina by night and we will have another opportunity to know this historic city.
After breakfast, we’ll leave to Belo Horizonte. On the way we can exchange impressions, watch a good movie or just resting. If we have time, we can stop in Curvelo, at another handmade local cooperative, Dedo de Gente. Arriving at the capital of Minas Gerais State, the final stop of our journey will be Confins Airport or the hotel.
2 nights in Diamantina and 3 nights in homestays in Turmalina.
5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 3 Dinners.
Transfer In / Out (Belo Horizonte x Diamantina x Turmalina)
Experiences and Workshops; Ceramic Firing Ceremony.
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