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Ambiente & Sociedade

Print version ISSN 1414-753XOn-line version ISSN 1809-4422

Ambient. soc. vol.22  São Paulo  2019  Epub May 13, 2019 

Original Article




2MSc in Territorial Development and Public Policy from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ). Teacher on Geography of the Municipal Secretariat of Education of Rio de Janeiro. Email:

3PhD in Environmental Policy and Management from the Center of Sustainable Development from the University of Brasília (UnB). Associate Professor of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro. Email:


The schools of caiçaras communities in “Praia do sono” and “Pouso da Cajaíba”, located in Paraty (RJ), initiated in 2016 to offer middle school education with the purpose of an education adapted to their realities. This initiative happens in a period when the communities are seeking new ways to develop tourism. The present article aims to discuss the construction process of the differentiated school education and its contribution to the development of tourism. In addition to the research of bibliographic references and secondary data, there was participation in events related to the theme and the implementation completion/execution of semi-structured interviews with representatives that have been discussing the curricular proposal and its impacts in the territory. The research shows that the process that is being proposed by means of the differentiated education can contribute to the organization of the community-based tourism, focused in questions such as autonomy and belonging.

Key-words: territory; community-based tourism; education; caiçara; protected areas


Las escuelas de las comunidades caiçaras de “Praia do Sono” y “Pouso da Cajaíba”, situadas en el municipio de Paraty (RJ), comenzaron en el año 2016 la oferta de la enseñanza fundamental II con la propuesta de una educación adaptada a sus realidades. Esta iniciativa se produce en un periodo en que las comunidades vienen buscando nuevas formas de desarrollar el turismo. Además del estudio del referencial bibliográfico y datos secundarios, ha habido la participación en eventos relacionados a la temática y la realización de entrevistas semiestructuradas con representantes que ya vienen discutiendo la propuesta curricular y su impacto en territorio. La investigación indica que el proceso que se está propuesto por medio de la educación diferenciada puede contribuir a la organización del turismo de base comunitaria, centrado en cuestiones como autonomía y pertenencia.

Palabras clave: territorio; turismo de base comunitária; educación; caiçara; areas protegidas


As escolas das comunidades caiçaras da Praia do Sono e do Pouso da Cajaíba, localizadas no município de Paraty (RJ), iniciaram, no ano de 2016, a oferta do ensino fundamental II com a proposta de uma educação adaptada às suas realidades. Essa iniciativa ocorre em um período em que as comunidades vêm buscando novas formas de desenvolver o turismo. O presente artigo visa discutir o processo de construção da educação escolar diferenciada e sua contribuição para o desenvolvimento do turismo. Além do estudo de referencial bibliográfico e de dados secundários, houve a participação em eventos relacionados ao tema e a realização de entrevistas semiestruturadas com representantes que vêm discutindo a proposta curricular e seu impacto no território. O estudo indica que o processo que está sendo proposto por meio da educação diferenciada pode contribuir para a organização do turismo de base comunitária, centrado em questões como autonomia e pertencimento.

Palavras-chave: território; turismo de base comunitária; educação; caiçara; áreas protegidas

Introduction and context

The communities of Pouso da Cajaíba and Praia do Sono, located in the Juatinga peninsula, in the municipality of Paraty, depict the situation of many territories where traditional communities live, such as the caiçaras4 from the south coast of Rio de Janeiro up to the coast of Paraná.

Until the mid-20th century, the caiçara people lived, in relative isolation, on local natural resources (DIEGUES, 2000). New meaning was given to the transmission of knowledge over generations, represented by knowledge and cultural manifestations that are currently present in the local daily life, such as the music and festivities of the Folia de Reis, Bandeira do Divino, and Ciranda Caiçara, among others (SOARES; PEREIRA & GIÁCOMO, 2016).

It was this knowledge that influenced the way in which communities interact with the environment based on the local resources, in a complex dynamic that involves issues such as the environmental and cultural diversity found in their territories (DIEGUES, 2000).

Located in one of the key remaining areas of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, the region presents relevant aspects from the perspective of the tourism, mainly related to their natural characteristics and to the culture of local populations. However, it is a region marked by conflicts and dispute in relation to land use and occupation, for instance environmental restrictions, illegal land grabbing, and property speculation, promoting situations that lead to a number of confrontations and repress the inhabitants, according to the work of Marafon (2006), Linhares (2010), Carvalho (2010), and Nohara (2016).

Traditional activities such as agriculture and forest extractivism were reduced due to land use restrictions imposed by the creation of conservation units. Other than that, traditional fishery became undermined because of the impact caused by industrial fishing. On the other hand, tourism has been perceived by those communities as an alternative for income generation. However, tourism development has occurred in an accelerated way, highlighting problems such as waste generation and lack of waste treatment, as well as raising sociocultural issues that need to be better understood in the local context (CARVALHO, 2010; BAZZANELLA, 2013).

In 2007, the traditional communities of caiçaras, quilombolas5, and Guarani Mbya indigenous group in the region joined together and formed the “Traditional Communities Forum of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Ubatuba”. Among the resistance strategies advocated by the Forum, there is the development of community-based tourism and differentiated education. Community-based tourism emerges as an alternative to the predatory and excluding tourism model that is being carried out in the region and generating dissatisfaction among communities themselves. Also, differentiated education proposes an educational process that is in touch with local reality without losing sight of the external influences and political aspects that concern the territory.

For the 2016 school year, the schools Martin de Sá, at Praia do Sono, and Cajaíba, at Pouso da Cajaíba, received middle school education (6th to 9th school years grade in Brazil) for the first time in their territories. This initiative has been oriented by the staff of the Angra dos Reis Educational Institute, Fluminense Federal University (IEAR/UFF), in partnership with the Paraty Municipal Department of Education (REGO-MONTEIRO, NOBRE & OLIVEIRA, 2016; SANTOS & REGO-MONTEIRO, 2016). The methodology adopted is similar to that used by Paulo Freire when he was secretary of education (1989-1991), in the Municipality of São Paulo (SÃO PAULO, 1990). One of its fundamental aspects is the participative construction in close dialogue with the local community to ensure that the education offered is in consonance with their needs and demands.

In this context, this article aims to present and discuss the construction process of a proposal on differentiated education and its contribution for community-based tourism, following the experience of the “Program for the Implementation of Middle School Education at the Caiçaras schools of the coastline of Paraty”, developed by the Municipal Secretariat of Education of Rio de Janeiro and Fluminense Federal University.

Methodological procedures

In order to achieve the proposed objectives, as a starting point we carried out a survey, an analysis of bibliographical reference about the research themes, and the analysis of secondary data, including documents related to the differentiated education process. Among these documents, we included the analysis of the curricular proposal for the 2016 school year for the school at Pouso and Sono. The focus was to observe which elements in the proposal can promote an increased awareness of historic-cultural, socio-economic, and territorial aspects to awaken in the young students a reflection about the local identities and the development conceptions that are in consonance with the premises advocated by the proposition of a community-based tourism.

With the objective of understanding the context of the differentiated education proposal, one of the authors of this article, during the masters research in Territorial Development and Public Policy, at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro/UFRRJ (BARROS, 2017), in interlocution with a team of professors from the IEAR/UFF, took part in a number of debate meetings about the implementation of differentiated education in the caiçara schools of Pouso and Sono, such as: (1) meetings of the Collective Group to Support Differentiated Education, formed by representatives from the Traditional Communities Forum, community leaders, professors and students from some universities, teachers from the Research Center for Differentiated Education of the Colégio Pedro II, and teachers from the municipal education system of Paraty (September 23 and December 15, 2016); (2) teacher training meetings (September 5 and 23, October 27, November 15, December 15 and 16, 2016).

With respect to spaces of discussion about the development of community-based tourism, we highlight the participation in the following events: I Meeting on Community-Based Tourism of the Costa Verde Region (July 23 to 25, 2015, in Tarituba, Paraty), conducted jointly by the Tourism Secretariat of Paraty and the Tourism Foundation of Angra dos Reis; II Meeting of the Caiçara National Coordination (April 15 and 16, 2016, in Praia do Aventureiro, Ilha Grande, Angra dos Reis), organized by the Traditional Communities Forum of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Ubatuba, the Caiçara National Coordination, and the Ecological Protection Society of Angra dos Reis; and, finally, the “Sharing of Community-Based Tourism”, organized by the Traditional Communities Forum of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Ubatuba, in partnership with the Observatory on Sustainable and Healthy Territories of Bocaína/FIOCRUZ (September 29, 2016, in Trindade, Paraty).

Participation in these events was an important way to conduct the research, once it allowed us to explore the theme and meet key players in different occasions before pre-scheduled interview appointments, for example. The observation and registry of statements from community members during these events favored the understanding about the positions of the local institutions and leadership. In addition to participating in local forums and meetings, semi structured interviews were carried with different players linked to caiçara school education: two community leaders in each community, and three professors from IEAR/UFF.

The analysis of the information obtained in these events and interviews aimed to elucidate the main differences between the proposed differentiated school education and conventional school education, in addition to understanding the key elements discussed in the curriculum of the Pouso and Sono schools, which can positively influence the development of community-based tourism.

The depletion of mass tourism and the proposal of community-based tourism in the communities of Praia do Sono and Pouso da Cajaíba

It is not uncommon to find touristic destinations that underwent great changes with the introduction of tourism activities in their territories. It is known that the vitalization of local economy is not always accompanied of an environment that promotes well-being to local residents. Another factor of tourism implemented without planning is the degradation of the attractions, undermining the activities’ own sustainability (BURSZTYN; BARTHOLO & DELAMARO, 2009).

The operational logic of this predatory tourism fits within Eurocentric development models, which are characterized by having profit as the main objective and ultimately contribute to the transformation of cultural aspects and local knowledge (ESCOBAR, 2005). In addition, another aspect highlighted by Freire (1967) in regard to development, which tends to be observed in some touristic destinations, is the gap between individuals and decision processes in models that are instituted from outside inward, which can contribute to the loss of identity.

Some research approaches in tourism have been presenting these issues as the basis for planning the activity. And, although some touristic segments and/or forms of organization, as is the case of ecotourism, rural tourism, and social tourism, adopt the terms “eco” and “inclusive” as a market strategy, their directives aim to promote sustainability criteria in the development of the activity. In this new “branding” of tourism, which affects demand and supply, we need a critical approach about the opportunisms associated to the standardization of touristic services, whose main objective is the achievement of profit, which leads to more artificial experiences and relations (ZAOUAL, 2009).

In the case of the recognized “community-based” tourism, Irving (2009) emphasizes that this type of organization depends necessarily on the comprehension of the community itself about the values, disputes and challenges at stake in these kinds of activity.

However, reaching a critical awareness about the positioning as subject, and not objective, of the system requires an adequate formation process in order to guarantee a better discernment on decisions and quality improvement of political participation (DEMO, 1998; 2009).

Problems faced by the exhaustion of the conventional tourism model in the majority of touristic destinations in the country are also perceived in the communities of Pouso and Sono. This dissatisfaction could be observed during the interviews, as related by a community leader and owner of a bar in Pouso: “Tourism fell from the sky, I think that until today we don’t know how to work with tourism. […] the ones who make money today are people from outside, not the locals […] if there is no organization, we won’t go much further.” (Learder of Pouso da Cajaíba, October 26, 2016).

In relation to Praia do Sono, one community representative commented that tourism began around the decade of 1980, but from the end of the decade of 1990 the activity has become “devastating”. She remarked that the type of tourism developed nowadays is disturbing, since it does not respect local traditions and have contributed to the “disfigurement” of community cultural habits. Another factor mentioned by that leadership was the weakening of cooperative initiatives between persons. She believes that tourism is among the reasons that caused a capitalist spirit and an individualistic posture between persons.

Such dissatisfactions have promoted a critical positioning in relation to the benefits and damages of tourism. In that sense, though this activity has collaborated in incrementing the income of residents, there is an understanding among the interviewed leadership that part of the tourists attending the communities does not behave appropriately. Residents complain that tourists do not worry about waste, favor noise pollution, under estimate the services provided, and demand inadequate discounts on daily rates and products marketed.

As noted previously, the traditional communities of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Ubatuba have been meeting in events to discuss the implementation of community-based tourism in their territories (MENDONÇA, MORAES & CATARCIONE, 2016). There are a number of understandings about the concept of community-based tourism, although there are some premises that appear more frequently in the positioning of different actors discussing this activity. Among those aspects, the following stand out: appreciation of historic-cultural elements, knowledge, and ways of life; the community as protagonists in preparing and executing the route; the intercultural relation between the visitors and the hosting community; the appreciation and conservation of nature; and the integration with other activities developed in the communities (IRVING, 2009; MALDONADO, 2009; SAMPAIO et al, 2011).

During the events about community-based tourism carried out in the focused region, communities were very expressive about the concern in regard to offering of a school education to qualify the youth for the development of community-based tourism in their territories.

In relation to the educational rights, the caiçara people found support in the Decree nº 7.352, of November 04, 2010, which deals with the rural education policy, and the National Education Program for Land Tenure Reform - PRONERA. The Decree has defined some principles, such as: articulation of experiences and studies directed to economically-fair and environmentally-sustainable social development in connection with work; curricular contents and methodologies appropriated to the real needs of the rural students; and the participation of rural communities and social movements.

Other documents, for instance the “National General Directives on Basic Education Curriculum” (BRASIL, 2013), the “National Education Plan for 2014-2024” (BRASIL, 2014), and the “Paraty Municipal Education Plan for 2015-2025” (PARATY, 2015), have curricular guidelines, goals and strategies related to the rural people.

According to the objective of respecting local leadership in the description of an educational model that meets the specific needs of traditional people, this work seeks to emphasize some aspects that permeate the concept of “differentiated education”, as for example the cultural diversity. This concept has been built and matured by the subjects involved in the proposal, and it is also being shown as part of an historical process of assertion of rights and recognition. However, the documentation mentioned above highlight that the teaching offered requires an adaptation towards the local development needs, by the means of a permanent dialogue with the hosting community for the promotion of sustainable practices, traditional knowledge and historic-cultural aspects of these people. These “rights” to adapt the teaching offered are what constitute what we call “differentiated education” (CARVALHO, 2010; HAYAMA, 2016).

The educational proposal started in 2016 in the caiçara schools offering middle school education (6th to 9th school years grade in Brazil) in Pouso and Sono has been following this guidance and these principles, as seen below.

The project of curricular construction for middle school education of Pouso da Cajaíba and Praia do Sono

The pedagogic proposal being used is characterized by interculturality and by a “differentiated education”, aiming a substantial apprenticeship through teaching projects, which bring to the school a number of caiçara cultural and territorial aspects.

Amongst the premises that form the intercultural perspective, Candau (2008) points out the inter-relation between different cultural groups present in a particular society. From that point of view, cultures are not considered static over time, but are in constant process of building and rebuilding.

In the case of traditional people, they have historic-cultural characteristics and unique knowledge that are, many times, put in second place by the conventional perspective in schools. However, there is a need to conciliate the specific characteristics of these people with the universal school program defined in the Nacional Common Curricular Basis, Law 9.394 of December 20, 1996, that establishes the Guidelines and Basis of National Education. This condition is expressed by Santos (2006, p. 462), when quoting that “we have the right to be equals, every time the difference makes us inferior; we have the right to be different every time the equality mischaracterizes us”. In order to achieve these objectives, the methodology adopted by the schools in Pouso da Cajaíba and Sono is based on the pedagogy of projects (HERNANDEZ, 1998) and in the pedagogy of thematic network/generating themes (FREIRE, 1987).

These methodologies were used as a way to encourage a dialogic relation with the scholar community. Other than that, they aim to widen the scope of those curriculums centered in disciplines that do not problematize the realities and demands from the students. In that sense, the proposal is to build a school curriculum that contemplates the students’ aspirations and challenges, in a way that contributes to social transformation from a critical and multidimensional perspective of development models.

The building of a curricular proposal and the permanent training of teachers in the schools of Pouso and Sono was developed based on some meetings with the “Collective Group to Support of Differentiated Education”, composed by university students and professors (UFF, UFRJ, UFRRJ), community leadership and the Traditional Communities Forum. The definition of the type of project that would fit the collective’s interest was achieved and a proposal was presented to the municipality.

The process of building a curricular proposal included several meetings involving the community and teachers, in addition to different research activities (data gathering, interviews, systematization) (REGO-MONTEIRO, NOBRE & OLIVEIRA, 2016). Putting together the curriculum followed a sequence of steps composed by:

  • Sociocultural assessment, through the application of questionnaires by the students, under the supervision of their teachers, and of a group dynamics applied to the parents and locals, with emphasis on the Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats of the community and school.

  • Building the thematic network, through the selection of words/concepts that were mentioned more frequently in the previous survey. The thematic approaches for the preparation of pedagogic projects was carried out in this step.

  • Preparation of the pedagogic framework and planning of guidance classes.

The thematic network (Table 1) presents 4 main components, that are connected to other concepts and themes related with the community realities.

Table 1 Thematic components with the words/concepts included in the thematic network 

Social/Family organization Caiçara culture Beach Territory
Orientation/values (drugs, violence)
Identity (artists, traditional knowledge, diversity)
Cultural dynamics
Income generation (tourism/fishery) Struggle/history (continuity)
Lack of public policies (waste/pollution, sanitation, health)
Natural diversity
Territorial management (territorial conflicts, land sales, security, Laranjeiras Residence)
Sustainability/ subsistence

Source: Adapted from Rede Temática - Projeto Escolas Caiçaras/IEAR/UFF (2016).

The constitution of the 4 thematic blocks was useful to guide the planning frameworks and the pedagogic projects. Next step was the preparation of the guidance classes, connecting the integrating contents from the thematic blocks to the programmatic contents, grouped by knowledge areas, establishing in this way the activities and tasks as strategies to achieve the proposed objectives. With this, four guidance classes were prepared, each one related to one pedagogic project: I- Pedagogic projects - Who am I?; II - Caiçara culture; III - Beach and territory; and IV -Guide Book. In the tables below, only the main elements that can be linked to the development of community-based tourism were selected.

In the Project “Who am I?” (Table 2), the proposed activities, such as applying interviews with community elders and with their own families, building genealogy trees, time lines, and the community history reinforced throughout orality, cooperated on the identification and strengthening of historical identities from the part of the students. Memory, as stressed by Pollak (1992), is a phenomenon constructed socially and individually in regard to the inherited memory.

Table 2 Contents, activities and tasks for the Project “Who am I?” 

Activities/Tasks Programmatic contents
Video: Carta Caiçara
Poem: Credo Caiçara
Finding objects with your history
Interview with local families and the matriarchs
Time line and genealogy tree of the community
Textual production
Regional geography (Serra do Mar)
Atlantic Rainforest
Oral family history

Source: Adapted from the guidance classes produced by teachers from caiçara middle school education, with guidance of the group of professors from IEAR/UFF (2016).

By recounting, through stories, the struggle of the community to remain in their territories or to gain access to public policies, for example, it is possible that an identification or projection occurs with the past, able to strengthen the feeling of a collective identity.

Environmental aspects of Pouso and Sono community territories are key attracting elements for tourism in the region and were approached in the project “Who am I?”. The study of these aspects can enhance ecological knowledge (SANTOS, 2007), appreciating not only academic knowledge, but as well traditional knowledge in respect to local biodiversity. This topic served as basis for working the elements of the project “Cultura caiçara” (Table 3), where knowledge from caiçara and other traditional people were represented.

Table 3 Contents, activities and tasks for the Project “Cultura caiçara 

Activities/Tasks Programmatic contents
Workshop on Permaculture
Caiçara film
Video on agroecology
Debates about the videos
Questioning about their daily food
Workshop on caiçara dances and poetry
Round of conversation with Guarani people about their culture and ways of life
Small fields/plots and backyards (vegetable gardens)
Agroecology and extractivism
Classification of plant: herbs (medicinal and edible), shrubs and trees
Composition and properties of soil
Fertilization, bio fertilizers, composting
Traditional vocabulary
History of communities transformation
Statistical data on traditional people
Calculation of the occupied area by traditional communities
Indigenous culture
Concept of territory

Source: Adapted from guidance classes produced by teachers from caiçara middle school education, with guidance of the group of professors from IEAR/UFF (2016).

The worked contents include sustainable agricultural practices, such as agroecology and permaculture. According to local leadership accounts, the habit of planting has been reduced in these communities. Among the reasons, are land use restrictions imposed by the conservation unity that encompasses the region and the arrival of tourism, which enabled residents to increase their incomes and provided the option to buy food rather than to produce it. The same argument is true for products extracted from the forest, which are used as food, medicine or raw material for the construction of baskets and other products.

A local leader from Pouso da Cajaíba states that the traditional cooking practices are being forgotten, quoting as an example the lack of knowledge of many young members in relation to the “Azul Marinho”, a typical dish of the caiçara cuisine that is made with fish and banana.

On the other hand, promoting this knowledge leads to the possibility of aggregating touristic activities options, for instance the offering of products and workshops - such as the ones that take place at the Caiçara Permaculture Institute/IPECA, located in Pouso da Cajaíba, and managed by one of the local community leaders.

During the pedagogic projects “Caiçara culture” and “Beach and territory”, developed by community school teachers of Pouso da Cajaíba and Praia do Sono, with guidance by a team of professors from IEAR/UFF and the Traditional Communities Forum, exchange visits were done involving youth from Guarani and Quilombolas people in the region. Strengthening relations between young members from these groups can contribute to future partnerships for itineraries that include visiting these communities. This contact also enables the identification of historical and cultural ties common to the three groups. One example is the historical process of occupation of the Costa Verde region, marked by confrontation with illegal land occupants, real estate and touristic ventures, and the creation of conservation units (CARVALHO, 2010; LINHARES, 2014).

Strengthening the territorial identity can stimulate the creation of development objectives and strategies that originate from the own community (POLLICEA, 2010). Thus, the concept of “territory” presents itself as a key element for these communities and its importance is exemplified by the presence of this term in the programmatic content of the project “Caiçara culture” and in the title of the project “Beach and territory” (Table 4).

Table 4 Contents, activities and tasks for the Project “Beach and territory 

Activities/Tasks Programmatic contents
Visit to the Quilombolas
Story telling with griô (agroecology; medicinal herbs)
Workshop on basketry
Visit guided by the students (learning to climb the palm three)
Video: Valentim and Madalena craftsmanship; and Preserve and Resist
medicinal herbs and vegetal classification
History of the African diaspora: contextualization in the history of the municipality of Paraty

Source: Adapted from guidance classes produced by teachers from caiçara middle school education, with guidance of the group of professors from IEAR/UFF (2016).

The beach is a place of fishing, surfing, transporting of vessels, leisure, and one of the main communities’ tourist attractions. Due to these characteristics, the beach has a close relationship with the caiçara identity.

The theme “Beach” appears in the thematic network associated to income generation which is subdivided in fishing and tourism, the two main economic activities developed by the Pouso da Cajaíba and Praia do Sono communities.

In the planning matrices, among the objectives related to tourism activity, we highlight: reflect about the consequences and influences regarding tourism activity; study sustainable and community-based tourism models; build the tourist profile and produce a guide book.

The theme of tourism has major emphasis, to the point it received a project (Table 5) for the preparation of a guide book put together by the students, with the assistance of professors and team from the IEAR/UFF.

Table 5 Contents, activities and tasks for the Project “Guide book 

Activities/Tasks Programmatic contents
Field work for the identification of touristic sites
Production of texts with information for the guide
Workshops on photography and social cartography
Production of maps of tracks and visitation spots
Survey on the tourist profile
Preparation of instruments for data gathering
Application and data tabulation
Spatial orientation and localization
History of the territory
Conservation units and legislation
Concept of work
Tourism and community-based tourism
Labor, employment and income
Instrumental English for tourism

Source: Adapted from guidance classes produced by teachers from caiçara middle school education, with guidance of the group of professors from IEAR/UFF (2016).

For the development of the “Guide Book”, they projected a sequence of activities integrating disciplines from Human Sciences, Languages, and Natural and Exact Sciences. The preparation also included two workshops, one on photography and another on Social Cartography.

The community organized field work for identifying some touristic attractions. The next step was the development of descriptive texts on these attractions to compose the guide book. In parallel to this step, a workshop on photography was carried out and, subsequently, the students were divided in groups with the task of shooting some landscape and cultural elements of the community.

Another key element in the composition of the guide book were the maps. Workshops on “Social Cartography” were developed after the teacher on human sciences worked with the students on the basic elements that should constitute a map. The representations that appear in social cartography are examples of affirmation of the community’s own ways of life and reveal the territorialities that result in the identification with the territory (ACSELRAD, 2012).

According to a professor from IEAR/UFF, the proposal to work on social cartography with students of caiçara middle school education arose from the Guide Book project and from the proposal to begin the approach of community-based tourism development in the communities.

During the social cartography workshop, students had contact with satellite images of the communities in order to identify the location of the elements that would compose the maps of the guide book. The participatory building through the use of new technologies, increasingly present in our days, magnifies the perception of the space they live in and how they are transformed and makes the learning process more enjoyable, meaningful, and inclusive. In turn, youth interest in accessing new technologies creates motivation, which contributes to expand learning opportunities (DEMO, 2009).

Another important theme included in the programmatic contents refers to the legislation regarding the establishment of conservation units, both for sustainable use and of more restrictive character. The region of the Juatinga peninsula covers the communities of Pouso and Sono, among others, and is within the limits of the Juatinga Ecological Reserve, created by the State Decree n° 17.981, of October 30, 1992. However, this category was extinguished by the implementation of the National System of Conservation Units/SNUC, through Law n° 9.985, of July 18, 2000.

Until October 2017, a new categorization was yet in discussion for this conservation unit, led by the Environment State Institute/INEA and representatives of traditional communities. Depending on the result, a number of socioeconomic development projects can become unfeasible, for instance fishing, agriculture or forest extractivism. On the other hand, approaching the conservation unit theme can generate social mobilization linked to sustainability and environmental protection, which are also included in the conceptual discussions on community-based tourism initiatives.

In relation to the manufactured guide book, the Language teacher assisted in the construction and revision of texts in Portuguese, and in the translation of some information to English. In addition to cartography and cultural aspects, the Human sciences teacher aided the Science teacher with information regarding physical characteristics that constitute the local environment, such as geography, climate, vegetation, fauna, soil, and marine environment.

According to one teacher, the process of putting together the guide book is a key moment for the communities to incorporate responsible tourism management, in opposition to large scale tourism that has been promoted on holidays. During the summertime, there is involvement of the entire community in touristic activities, including young people that attend school.

Another professor from IEAR/UFF emphasized that community-based tourism can promote cultural aspects in the touristic itineraries that have been poorly explored until now and doing so increases income alternatives for communities. He believes that schools can contribute to community-based tourism in accordance to the differentiated education offered, favoring in this way a proposal that leads to autonomy to develop work and income.

A third professor from IEAR/UFF stressed that schools need support from the University and the participation of parents or guardians in collective thinking in regard to upcoming projects. He believes that schools, individually, have no possibility to generate a critical comprehension in reference to the need to build a differentiated curriculum in favor of the projects of the future desired by the community.

One important recommendation made by the Collective Group to Support Differentiated Education, in their 2016 school year final assessment meeting, is to invest in bringing parents and guardians closer to the discussions about school projects. It is considered that this aspect has been poorly focused on and that it must become a central goal in order to improve the caiçara education proposal of the communities of Pouso and Sono.

According to one professor from IEAR/UFF, during the meeting with those responsible for the students (i.e. legal guardians), it was perceived that some parents became insecure facing the fact that the proposed contents would be different from those offered in the “city”, and, thereby, feared that their children could be undermined. Along with the professor, the concept that “the school of the city is better” is ideologically very strong, and this debate is influenced by different conceptions on education and development.

The same professor warns that one main assumption of curricular formation is its dynamic character and that the curricular bases have already been consolidated over a process that counted with the collaboration of teachers, students, those responsible for the students, and community leaders. Nevertheless, constant adjustments are part of the process, and, to this end, the presence of these players is key to understand and support the school education proposal. Strengthening this convergence between those responsible for the students and the school is one of the key challenges to be achieved for the consolidation of a caiçara school education proposal.

Final considerations

The development of the curriculum and the pedagogical proposals for middle school education in the schools of Martim de Sá, in Praia do Sono, and Cajaíba, in Pouso da Cajaíba, has the differential of working through a participatory process in combination with the scholar community, as determined by the rural education legislation. This construction process was essential in defining the elements included in the thematic network, which served as baseline to guide the construction of the curricular framework, projects and guidance classes.

Therefore, the discussion process about the differentiated education allowed, within the scope of the curricular proposal, addressing elements that identify local knowledge, history, culture, environmental and economic characteristics, in integration with the contents of relevant knowledge areas (Human Sciences, Languages, Natural and Exact Sciences), and, consequently, characterizing a proposal of interculturality.

Involvement of students in the putting together a guide book, considering the insertion of photos, maps, and texts produced by them, can contribute to increase the self-esteem and identity affirmation, to the extent in which they are protagonists in the preparation of a “touristic content” produced based on their own narratives. In addition, this initiative tends to awaken in the students a critical reflection about the planning of touristic activities in their territories.

These questions emphasize the role of scholar formation in the reflection on identities affirmation and materialization of a critical awareness in respect to the conventional development model, other than strengthening individual participation in communication and decision platforms.

As discussed, some characteristics of community-based tourism, for instance interculturality, community leadership, promotion of historical, cultural, and nature conservancy aspects, are being worked on in the curricular proposal of the caiçara schools in the communities of Pouso and Sono.

It must be emphasized that the technical cooperation agreement established between the Paraty Municipal Department of Education and the Angra dos Reis Educational Institute/UFF, is only in its beginning stages and it will endure until 2019, which will enable offering a continuous training for the youth who started their middle school education (6th to 9th school years grade in Brazil).

It is possible that the differentiated school education proposal being offered in Pouso da Cajaíba and Praia do Sono, will serve as inspiration to other schools that serve the caiçara public and to communities that are also discussing the implementation of community-based tourism in their territories.

Finally, this article aimed to demonstrate the role of differentiated education in the definition of tourism development models, considering that individual formation is part of a continuous learning process based on different sources and meanings. School is not the only responsible for formation, but undoubtedly it is a major ally in the search for a liberating education, where the subjects can define and execute development strategies that promote autonomy and leadership in managing their territories.


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1. Acknowledgments to the teachers in the Angra dos Reis Educational Institute/IEAR/UFF, community leaders, and the Collective Group to Support Differentiated Education of the Traditional Communities Forum of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Ubatuba.

4. Translator’s note: Law No. 1835 of January 10, 2012, Paraty-RJ, in its Article 4, item III, defines caiçaras as: “Culturally differentiated groups [...] located between the Bay of Paranaguá (PR) and Ilha Grande Bay (RJ) [...] who associate their survival with small-scale fishing, agriculture, extractivism, handicrafts and tourism.” Available at:

5. Translator’s note: Decree No. 4887 of November 20, 2003, in Article 2, defines quilombolas as: “[...] ethnic-racial groups, according to self-attribution criteria, with their own historical trajectory, endowed with specific territorial relations, with presumption of African-descendant ancestry related to the resistance to historical oppression suffered.” Available at:

Received: February 08, 2018; Accepted: January 31, 2019

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