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This document was prepared with financial assistancefrom the European Union.
However, their content is the sole responsibilityof the municipality of Borba
and can not, under any circumstances be regardedas reflecting the position of the European Union
The project “Urban centers on protected areas:
Methods to promote the inhabitants socio-economical development throught nature’s care”
from URB-AL III program of the European Comission that has two phases:
the first one, is to obtain knowledge about the local reality,
where the field inventory made identified 7 axes of sustainable economical development:
Native Forests, Wool and Loom, Milk, Apiculture,
Orchards, Sheeps and Rural Tourism.
These axes, as a result of a debate process with ample participation of the interested locals,
represents the base for the sutainable development of the region,
taking into account the needs of the local population
and the Pampa’s Biomass and local culture preservation.
In the second phase, from these 7 axes, 22 income generation projects
and close to 70 Demonstrative Units were elaborated.
All sub-projects are interconnected and have the objective of the sustainable development
of the IPA (international Protected Area) Pampa,
a tranborders territory that includes 5 partners in Latin America:
Department of Rivera in Uruguay, and the brasilian municipalities of Livramento,
Quaraí, Alegrete y Rosário do Sul.
The European Union was co-endowing a project in Latin America,
in an unknown area. That was the opportunity.
and then we found ourselves with the challenge of having the ability of execution of the project.
and we had to involve the community of the focus area
They want to stay here, they leave only if they find that there is no future for them here
Therefore, having the perspective that there is a return,
If they achieve to have a good gain they will stay here.
We believed that there should be a project specific for the women.
The majority of the sheep growers in our region raise sheep the same way there used to be 50 years ago.
This is totally new; we are planting native species in a co-partnership alternative,
These species are well adapted to the regions soil and climate conditions,
and all have potential.
During the project’s execution time,
we got to improve the communications that we had with the other municipalities,
and with the other technicians working there.
This program gave us the opportunity to strengthen institutional relationships
between Livramento and Rivera turning into a reference of international relations
We could anticípate the problems
to different situations, to give faster solutions.
Even the simplest technology,
or anything that would improve the farmers handling
makes the outcome positive
And they show satisfaction.
These coverages we used to see on TV,
And now we are seeing them here.
we couldn’t believe this to be true
There is a farmer that told me that he could not imagine that with a single shed
watching the birth of the sheep and avoiding the death of the lambs…
That one was the one that passed the 100% mark on lamb births
it was amazing !
And now I am more dedicated to the sheep,
I’m investing, I bought another flock
This wool comes from 210 sheep
This wool is ready, then we are going to comb it…
and prepare it to make horse’s blankets,
now he is going to sell less
because we are going to work with the wool,
it will be more efficient
Since farmers have few units, they can’t sell them individually
Then the association of grouped sales , allowed to generate gains from that activity
Four demostrative units were defined
and we hope they will be outreach centers
for this region’s farmers
to expand the use of the technology
because they understood that this technology works.
My husband was not too interested on sheep
I love the sheep
he doesn’t, he likes steaks, “charque”
When I was invited to participate on the project
he told me: You decide
Then I went and decided.
and yesterday it was a reward for me
because he spontaneously decided to go to a talk about sheep
for me is gratifying …
It is a love gesture.
Here in Livramento we implemented 4 projects besides the ones in Rivera,
and today they are giving positive results for the community
We have the community involved and participating.
And it was a huge challenge
to explain that the tourism together with cattling and agriculture
could generate new ways of economic income
get their children to stay longer at home
without needing to go look for better opportunities elsewhere
that was our challenge at the beginning
later people started to see what was happening
The Project got established. The threshing was discovered,
this sub-project is going to leave 6 touristic routes in Livramento
and a itinerant demostrative unit
It ‘s a great joy to welcome tourists And treat them the best way possible
I never before had exploited rural tourism
I Neither knew that I had such a beautiful place like this waterfall!
Here I have a very solitary life here
And now I have meetings from time to time
I have new friends which is very important.
When you go to work, you look at the landscape and not pay attention because you are used to it,
and each time a friend comes, he looks form the lands heights
because we have a higher area
and they tell you: “What a beautiful landscape”
one found it pretty but now one looks differently at it
for the exploitation of a productive activity in a place that you didn’t pay much attention before
The idea is to identify touristic proposals in a protected preservation area,
and benefit the inhabitants
offering them resources for the development of receptive tourism activities
is a very rich area of biological diversity,
Worth of being known and exploited as a touristic product
because that’s in turn a sustainable mean of income,
and a complement for the families.
One is everyday here and doesn’t care, doesn’t give too much importance
but the people that comes from somewhere else gets amazed with what they see.
The people doesn’t value what they have, But once you see it…
maybe you get accustomed to that,
you realize that is not like that when someone from another place comes.
they become marveled with the place
In the first phase we try to identify and rescue the region’s patrimony value,
thinking on its diffusion and promotion, specially to the tourist
And a second phase to make the project sustainable
which is the capacitation of the same locals on patrimonial issues
in the understanding that it is necessary the involvement of the people,
so the future can generate income
to the region’s inhabitants that daily coexists with what belongs to them,
it may not be easy to acknowledge the importance that it has,
and much less the relevance that it may have for the foreign tourist,
therefore, our work took that into account,
and tried to step back and evaluate in its just terms
that kind of assets and patrimonial values
Honestly, with our reduced area
the only difference that we can achieve, to stand out in something,
is with tourism because the field is very small
so, I started to make “dulce de leche” which I have never made before,
the first time turn out a little hard, but the second time was much better
I love to bake bread, cookies,
Servet he tourist…
It has been 20 years since I played the accordion
and now I started to practice again
To work next to a school gives you the possibility to get involved
with the people that is tomorrow’s future,
that in a short time will assume their properties,
their responsabilities as adults.
I really like the resource of the orchard,
we spend the whole day in the classroom,
and in the afternoon we go to the orchard
Then it’s more relaxed. They are not only in the classroom.
It’s a Project that contributed a lot to our school
to be able to show our children how does an orchard works,
is very important because it begins to invest in education,
so that later we can obtain better results
They love to prepare the soil, I have pictures,
they built the flowerbeds themselves
They enjoy this and they want to learn more
If at school they can visualize the possibility of an agro-ecological production,
the importance of taking care of the environment,
of planting native forests,
of producing with sustainable methods, for example honey
I think that just for that reason, URBAL Project is a great contribution
Many farmers had a very wrong tradition of apiculture,
with old fashion and very ancient ways of doing,
that have been corrected.
Because we are working on native forests this implies different timings
that implies a much slower development,
but without doubt with a much stonger outcome.
It was a process, slowly getting a nucleus, improving,
Later I had 10 beehives and thus everything was progressing.
Due to its originality, at first, the project had initial difficulties,
but I would say, and I am sure evryone else would agree with me,
that the project achieved its goals,
and is still doing it,
enough to see this property that is a model
for others in similar situation.
The main goal is to keep the inhabitants of the rural areas
In their place with dignifying conditions.
We realized that on top of doing field trips, explain the methodology,
nothing compares to “see it to believe it”,
After Claudiomiro y Zusana did the closing for the winter grasslands,
their neighbor, looking over the fence
and seeing that the system gives evident results, he started to apply it on his property,
and without the visit of a technician to show him how to do it.
I would summarize that in this town, was a field of 10 acres
they wanted to sell to leave for the city,
today, they maintain the original 10 acres and they rent the other 22,
on the same business process with higher returns,
we have produced 15 native species,
5 for medicines, 5 for fruits
and 5 for timber forests,
Here we grow Guayabo del País (Acca sellowiana),
which is one of the fruits species that we are planting,
in 8 of the demonstrative units.
We are helping farmers to have an ecologic and commercial vision at the same time.
In fact, this species are getting a great relevance around the world,
because their fruit is very rich on vitamin C and has the highest iodine contain.
We are contributing to biodiversity,
We are creating a germoplasm bank forests.
From this species and others like Guayubira, Congorosa
and Lapacho, we are going to have seeds in those 8 producers.
If this works, other farmers will be able to use them
This has a clear association with eco-tourism.
My dream and theirs, is the manufacture of marmalades and
handcrafts to sell to the visiting tourists.
The majority of the native trees, are of medicinal usage,
I learn it with him,
and if the tree is medicinal, why couldn’t its fruits be consumed?
That was my starting point and now I have a great variety of marmalades,
made out of Coronilla, Tala, Arrayán, Higuerón,
and an important one is made out of grated wood,
from Higuera del Monte’s wood
I grate it and make marmalade
This one is that we just tried is wood’s marmalade
that one is a Guabiyu, I make wood’s marmalade with it, of course.
URBAL Project has demonstrated that it can conserve biodiversity and a rich landscape
with sustainable and productive entrepreneurships
not only in the financial and economic scope but also by being environment friendly.
This has generated real opportunities to improve families’ income
that are settled on the territory that the project develops.
Thus, without doubts has to be the first element to be considered by public policies
as a way to prevent the continuous migration
from rural areas to the poor peripheries of urban centers.
The idea is to produce milk from grass fed animals,
Environmental aspects like improving soils fertility
And the preservation of soil and water
and very importantly, management aspects
because the great majority of the owned lands do not have managerial control,
Which means the control of flocks and heards by animal technicians while implementing economical control.
The economical evaluation.
Plus, from these demonstrative units,
the technicians are getting special capacitation.
and applying it in other properties,
Here in Alegrete we have more than 15 properties atended with this methodology,
which aren’t demonstrative units of URBAL,
but, through field trips and project’s diffusion
More farmers are eager to learn this methodology
What we have learned in theory, we can apply in a practical way,
seeing what works good, what should be the focus
for things to work,
Because this methodology is new in this municipality,
and allows a small property to generate good results,
and to maintain the farmer here
One ends up becoming friends with the farmers
You arrive and drink a mate
you do not only talk about grass and cows,
you start talking about other issues.
We are very happy that we got chosen for the “full bucket" program
and things are working, improving
on a daily basis and is going to get even better,
Therefore, because it was improving, we decided to invest on this,
Remember how we were before,
we decided to expand,
the cows have the potential to increase milk production,
over there they didn’t have the conditions, the milk
I thought I knew…
but the truth is that I didn’t know how to do things,
We learnt a lot with you.
Wool production was very strong in the region and disappeared,
The idea was not to bring something new,
Instead, to strengthen the region’s resources that women already had,
It begins with the thought that women is the foundation for the family to stay in the countryside,
In the majority of the rustic wool projects
the only thing that they were making were “ponchos”, blankets,
or shawls at the most.
Women obtained personal growth, development,
we see them happier, we aim to happiness,
There is work but there is smile, there is joy, there is life,
And you can see the results on the clothes made.
We are actualizing, learning,
what I was saying
is that before the wool was just for sale,
and today we are going to work and produce.
For many women to come here is like their weekly outing,
Last class, we were commenting with a student,
that she had thought about not coming because she was alone at home,
and that if she hadn’t come she would have regret it.
Besides learning things, this has a social component,
and the opportunity of personal growth
at the beginning, many didn’t even talk and now they even bring already made clothes
and with enthusiasm
That was a student’s idea
she had made it at home and another student learnt its technique,
mixed wool with the three natural colors,
grey, crude and brown and now is in a loom.
We are about to start a piece, is a sweater with bat shaped sleeves,
like a jacket.
It is the result of a team’s work
planification, dedication, study,
but camaraderie as well,
None achieves anything alone, we are a team,
The work’s methodology is focused on women’s personality,
we women do many things at the same time,
On other projects we were seeing that women were becoming bored
then we took into account women’s enthusiasm,
some makes looms, others frames,
others crochet, others knit
and others are just drawing,
but the most important thing is that there is an interaction with all the techniques
to look for something different.
We also incorporated technique records
that does not exist in other projects
this is very important because later when there is not going to be any teacher,
they will have a folder with all the techniques recorded
with the design to be able to repeat it,
to have continuity.
This one is washed; we just need to prepare it.
This one is for me, now in the course I am learning
and later, I am going to make it at home
In a rainy day, stranded here, alone…
I will make a sweater, work with the loom,
Some extra income will come in! no?
This is the projects’s gain,
when you see the satisfaction of the farmers,
that they were selected as demonstrative units,
that they are satisfied with what was once just a project,
and now is a reality.
This is novedous and they are very enthusiastic,
they have improved their daily activities,
I think that tourism is very relevant,
as educational tourism as well
Of course, environmental education
To get people here is a way of enriching their culture
some pathways are already getting tourists, even foreigners,
yesterday, I run into one in Tranqueras that received few Mexicans,
He was fascinated, imagine that!
In this area of native forests, I will put a Bed and Breakfast for tourists.
Who doesn’t like to get a good night sleep? We do!
I will be the first one to incentive countryside people,
I will be one of the first ones.
Looking ahead, our challenge is to cultivate seeds that were planted,
there are sown and the soil is fertile,
we know our potencial,
but the challenge is on these people with their own hands
give continuity to the seeds planted by URBAL.
Filmed in Rivera, Livramento, Quaraí, Alegrete and Rosário do Sul. October 2012