National Geographic : 1962 Sep
KODACHROMESBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHI bound for Africa was ordered sent to Recife. "Every day people see things get worse," said Celso Furtado, the head of SUDENE, the federal agency for development of all the Northeast. "We need a new attitude, an aware ness that things can improve. Otherwise des pair becomes unbearable, and people fall victim to irrational ideologies, to demagogues. SUDENE is our last hope." Furtado's agency gets funds from the Brazil ian treasury, the United States, and the Inter American Development Bank-in all, some 120 million dollars a year. Experts from many countries help test soil and build roads, power lines, and factories. "It'll be another two years before people get the benefit of what we are doing," Furtado said. "They cannot endure the present misery longer than that. We need a social revolution, a new era of hope." It was a relief to move on to the cool, moun 348 tainous calm of Ouro Preto, the showpiece of Minas Gerais, a state kept prosperous by its mines. In colonial days it was gold. Now it is iron and bauxite.* On a hill high above the baroque churches of the town I met a happy man named Or lando Ribeiro. He was not rich but he had a job as a carpenter, restoring churches, and his land with its abandoned gold mines had been owned by his great-grandfather. He had 27 gold-colored birds singing in a cage, and took gold-colored snuff. His aunt, he said, had been frightened by a werewolf, and from his shelves things had crashed down alarm ingly until a priest exorcised the marauding spirit. Now all was calm. "Peasant leagues?" he said. "We don't even have peasants!" Ouro Preto once was a cradle of rebellion against Portugal. An 18th-century dentist *See "Brazil's Land of Minerals," by W. Robert Moore, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, October, 1948.