The article “Takes a Village” from the English “Suitcase Magazine,” written by Imogen Lepere, with photos by Mark Rammers, who visited the project in February 2023, contextualizes the past and present of the region, recognizing the potential of the initiative as a socio-environmental project and a regenerative tourism destination.
“This state in southeastern Brazil became wealthy during the 18th-century gold rush, but since then, it has been extremely impoverished. When Renato Machado started buying degraded agricultural land in 1982, his vision was to plant a belt of Mata Atlântica around the Ibitipoca State Park. Nowadays, the project places local populations in the spotlight, and its goal is much more ambitious: to become a self-sufficient community in harmony with nature, with 98% of the land rehabilitated and the remaining 2% dedicated to low-impact businesses such as ecotourism. Currently, the project employs 350 people, and the aim is to increase this number to 1,000. ‘If we can’t collaborate with each other to save this planet, we don’t deserve it,’ says Machado.”