SALVADOR, Brazil — Leaning on the balcony railing at her rickety house, perched above the stairs and alleys of a poor community in Salvador, capital of Brazil’s Bahia state, Vanessa Braz da Conceição looks up at the night sky. For this 35-year-old pharmacy student, it’s her way of connecting with nature amid the city’s concrete jungle. “I spend hours here, enjoying my relationship with them,” she says of the sun, the moon and the stars. Vanessa is a member of the Pataxó Indigenous people from the Coroa Vermelha region in the far south of the state, and stargazing keeps her connected to her origins. From the window of the simple home where she lives alone, the mass of concrete houses couldn’t represent a more striking contrast to her native village, which is close to the city of ​​Porto Seguro, a 10-hour drive south along the Atlantic coast from Salvador. Porto Seguro is also where the first European colonizers set foot in what is today Brazil, back in 1500; Salvador is where they established their first capital city. “Every Indigenous person has a strong connection with nature,” Vanessa says. She adds there’s also beauty in the urban scene, like the buildings in the background of the massive valley of common houses that make up the community where she lives, in the heart of Salvador’s Federação district. It’s a place with a rugged geography, full of slopes and steps, like much of the metropolis. “I prefer nature, but the city is also…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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