For centuries, the Munduruku people have inhabited the Madeira-Tapajós ecoregion in central Brazil. In the 1970s, the construction of the Santarém-Cuiabá and Trans-Amazonian highways opened the Tapajós Basin to large-scale development such as cattle ranching, gold mining, logging and genetically modified (GM) soybean farming. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 Munduruku people living across 15 Indigenous villages in the states of Pará, Mato Grosso, and Amazonas.
The Munduruku Wakoburun Women’s Association was founded in July 2008 by 280 Indigenous women at the First Munduruku Women’s Assembly to increase the participation of women in decision-making, generate income from their work, and protect women and their territory from large-scale projects such as dams, waterways, railways, mining, forest concession, and invasion of illegal loggers. They organize workshops for political education and to build technical skills such as: handicrafts, copaiba harvesting, traditional medicine, and project planning. More than 200 Munduruku people have been trained in agroecology, nursing, and intercultural education. Members of the Women’s Association have helped create the Munduruku Consultation Protocol, and in 2016 they managed to use it to suspend the São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric plant.
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