May isn’t traditionally the greenest month in São Paulo – indeed, it’s autumn, with shards of yellow and gold starting to glint in the local vegetation’s evergreen depths. But with the Virada Sustentável and its eco agenda looming (6-9 June), the annual Viva a Mata – an event run by the NGO SOS Mata Atlântica – is in good green company.
Using workshops, games and debates, Viva a Mata sets out to highlight the importance of protecting Brazil’s Atlantic forest, as the native, intensely biodiverse forest once stretched the length of the country’s coastline and covered more than a million square kilometres. Today, just 11 per cent of the original woodland remains.
Hosted in Parque do Ibirapuera, there are activities for all ages, from debates (in Portuguese) about environmental issues such as the Código Florestal (the Brazilian Forest Code, a controversial piece of legislation aimed at protecting Brazil's forests), to story telling and puppet shows that connect kids with Mother Nature.
Early birds can catch the free classes, each morning at 10am in front of the stage at the Auditório Ibirapuera, with yoga on Friday, ginga (the basic move in capoeira) on Saturday, and stretching on Sunday.
Rounding up the event's schedule is one of its highlights – a talk about the documentary Pimp My Carroça (4pm on 26 May), the culmination of a project featured in last year's Virada Sustentável, in which local graffiti artist Mundano meets some of São Paulo’s recyclable waste collectors and helps them transform their carroças (carts) into mobile works of art.
See the complete schedule at sosma.org.br.