National Geographic : 2012 Apr
• up with no access to medical care is now visited by a boatload of doctors and beauticians every few months. Dos Santos could not attend school and risked her life to protest deforestation. Now her daughter is studying for her Ph.D.; her son works for a farmers association. Smiling proudly from photographs, they are living testaments to the way Quilombolas have moved from invis- ibility to citizenship. was a massive en- terprise with tentacles that reached everywhere in the Americas, from Boston to Buenos Aires. But its center was the Portuguese colony of Brazil: For every African who landed in Brit- ish North America, 12 arrived in Brazil, most of them destined for gold mines and sugar planta- tions, brutal work that killed a third to a half of them within ve years. Sugar harvesting re- quired hacking down hard, sticky, bamboo-like cane stalks in the baking sun; sugar processing involved boiling away the juice in smoking caul- drons. Little wonder the slaves quickly made for the exits, creating the most renowned quilombo A hundred families harvest a meager living from the palm forests near the village of Santo Antônio dos Pretos. e quilombo was founded by escaped slaves two years before emancipation in 1888.