The Rio Jauaperí is a tributary of the Rio Negro, which it enters 300 kms to the North-West of Manaus. It also marks the border between the Brazilian States of Amazonas and Roraima. The Associação Amazônia owns the Reserva Ecolôgica do Xixuaú - Xipariná, two tributaries of the Rio Jauaperí. The permanent presence of our Association in the area led to the creation of the Jauaperí Project with the following aims:

The Jauaperí Project is being carried out along the first 130 kms of the river, from where it enters the Rio Negro to the last inhabited area before the Indian Reserve of the Waimiri-Atroari tribe.

The region is divided between the states of Amazonas and Roraima, belonging to the municipalities of Novo Ayrao (AM) and Rorainopolis (RR). The total population is of 570 people in 10 communities and some isolated settlements. Around 70% of the inhabitants are less than 15 years old.

The region is in excellent conditions from an anthropogenic point of view with wholly intact areas and semi intact areas. The number of inhabitants and the shared characteristics of the communities make it possible to work in an integral fashion, for everyone. The total lack of services and assistance contrasts with an excellent natural production and the family groups tend to remain in the area.

Therefore most of the inhabitants are long term residents and know the area very well. The Jauaperí presents the necessary requisites for in situ conservation work, for the cultivation of food, medicinal and ornamental plants.

It also has the necessary conditions for fish farming.

There is no form of regular transportation to the Jauaperí. It is occasionally visited by Regatoes (merchants) who come to buy the produce from the inhabitants of the area. The only boat on the river belongs to the chief of the community of Sao Pedro, Senhor Ely.

Navigation of the Rio Jauaperí requires profound knowledge of the river due to the presence of rock formations and sand banks, especially during the low water season (November - March). There are a number of Practicos, river guides, two of whom work for the Association.

All the representatives of the communities of the Jauaperi have declared themselves in favor of the Jauaperí Project.


Until August 1996 there was no form of health assistance on the Rio Jauaperí. The nearest health post in the event of an emergency was at Novo Ayrao (Rio Negro) 20 hours by boat from the Jauaperí (approx. 5 days by canoe). The FNS (public service) travels the river every year to fumigate the houses (DDT).

The Roraima dental service visits the Jauaperí to remove teeth (but it has been absent for the last three years).

From the mouth of the Jauaperí to the Igarapé Xixuaú there are several curandeiros, midwives and local experts on medicinal plants. They mainly deal with fevers, diarrhea, pains, fractures, births and injuries.

In the last few years malaria has reappeared (affecting around 70% of the population in 1996) and there are minor incidences of tuberculosis and hepatitis.

In order to improves this situation the Associação Amazônia built a health post in the community of Sao Pedro. This village was chosen for its central position on the river and for accessibility from the other communities.

The construction was terminated in August 1996 and the health post began to function with the presence of a volunteer nurse from the hospital of Grosseto (Italy) who was trained by the Institute for Infectious Diseases of the Siena hospital who are collaborating with the Associação Amazônia.

An agreement for collaboration has also been reached with the Universidade do Amazonas, the FNS and the Manaus Tropical Hospital.

Initially the health post is functioning for first aid, analyses and treatment of malaria and to gather information on the current state of health of the population of the river Jauaperí.

The aim is to eventually form a local paramedic, chosen from among the local inhabitants. The local health authorities from Novo Ayrao and Manaus have agreed to collaborate and the Universidade do Amazonas, in Manaus, is offering a course for the person who will be chosen. In August 1997 the area was visited by a malaria specialist from Italy and the nurse is working in the area until the end of 1997. Blood and feces samples were taken from around 400 inhabitants of the river and it was found that within three months each person had, on average , suffered one attack of malaria.


The health post currently consists of: a waiting room, consultant room, dormitory, kitchen, bathroom, water tower with 5000 liters tank, water pump (gasoline) and septic tank.

The nurse present can count on the assistance of the communities along the Jauaperí, especially that of the chief of Sao Pedro, site of the post.

Most of all he is working together with the Association personnel present in the Xixuaú - Xipariná Reserve.


The areas where most logging occurs are near the communities of Tanauaú and Sao Pedro, and this is mostly for boat building (species: Itauba', Piquia and Angelin) with the wood being sold to the boat building yards of Novo Ayrao.

The most important crops of the area are brazil nuts, banana, Mandioc, Papaya, Mango, Cupuacu and Pineapple.

The brazil nuts are harvested between January and June. The trees produce in alternative years.

Fish traded live are: Acara Disco and Aruana.

Fish traded salted are: Surubim, Tucunaré and Pirarucù.

Animals commonly hunted and traded as salted meat are: Tapir, Peccary and Paca.

At present in the mouth of the Rio Jauaperí there is a small scale trade in salted alligator meat, to the merchants who transport it to the gold mines of the Upper Rio Negro.


Within the area of the Jauaperí project there are two regions which have suffered virtually no interference by man and possess a very high biological diversity.

These areas are inside the Reserve and are the Xixuau' and the Xiparina'.


On the left hand side of the Rio Jauaperí, covering an area of 2.500.000 hectares in the municipalities of Novo Ayrao (AM), Presidente Figueiredo (AM) and Caracarai (RR), is the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Reserve.

On the right hand side of the Rio Negro, in the municipalities of Novo Ayrao (AM) and Moura (AM), with an area of 2.200.000 hectares, is the National Park of Jau'


There are primary schools in the communities of Tanaunaú, Palestina, Itaquera, Sao Pedro and Samauma.

Where these schools are functioning they are limited to teaching reading and writing. However in many of these communities the school only functions occasionally or not at all. There is a lack of qualified teachers. Those who work receive a salary from the local municipality.

In the case of the Xixuaú - Xipariná reserve there are two teachers working in the school. Besides reading and writing they teach mathematics and art, health and sex education. Experiments are currently underway to increase the number of subjects and the pupils have been registered in the local school district in order to pass the state exams.

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