Pescador Artesanal

They live isolated

They are found on islands, sea channels and beaches, far from urban centres; in localities of difficult access, spread all along the Brazilian coast.

 

They are very poor

Their communities have no basic hygiene or sewer system, schools, or adequate medical assistance. The high index of illiteracy and infant mortality make the fishermen one of the most needy groups of our country. They make their own nets, oars and canoes, facing the sea with courage and difficulty.

They are exploited

Many take advantage of the precarious condition in which they live to exploit them in various ways: the profiteers who buy their fish at very low prices; the land-grabbers who usurp the land belonging to the families for centuries; the tourists who pay a pittance for domestic work in their weekend homes and when they serve as guides for their fishing trips. Because of all this exploitation, the fishermen are very closed and suspicious of those who visit their communities.

 

They speak a language of their own

The different way of using the language makes the fishermen an even more peculiar people. For example: In the São Paulo region the word "much" means hardly anything, while the word "few" means abundance. They use "kill" instead of "fish"; a good catch is described as, "Today we killed a few fish!"

 

The Family structure is different

The family system is patriarcal, with the figure of the father as the absolute authority and the women and children placed on a very inferior plane. The children are only valued by the father when they can go out with him to fish. In the south and south eastern region they gather around a fire to listen to "the word of the ancient ones", where the experiences of the older ones are passed on to the younger generations.

Their customs are different

While people in the city plan their activities by day and by night, the fishermen do it by the high or low tide. When the tide brings with it the fish, the fisherman will be at sea. This can happen during the morning, or in the afternoon, or at night, or at dawn!

 

They need to be known and valued

The difficulties and needs make the fishermen a people totally without hope. Before anything esle they need people who are ready to help them with sincerity, without any personal interest.

 

Evangelican Mission of Assistance to the Fishermen

VXM - Site e Identidade Visual