The Alto Project
A couple of hundred kilometres north of Brasilia in Brazil, in the state of Goias, is a divine little hide-away known as "Alto Paraiso" (High Paradise). It's a small town and cluster of villages occupied by 6000 people, most of whom have settled here over the last twenty or thirty years. This region, "Chapada dos Veadeiros" (under the influence of the reindeer), is famous for its spectacular waterfalls and two hundred million year old rock formations. According to NASA, it is also the most luminous place on Earth when viewed from space, due to its magnificent crystaline rock structures.
Chris bought 22 hectares of land here in Alto nine years ago, with the intention of creating a sister yoga retreat village to that of Goa on a part of the land. As has been the tendency throughout much of Brazil, the farmers have slashed and burned large tracts of land around Alto. But increasingly, outsiders (both Brazilians and foreigners) have been buying land here with the intention of replanting trees, and preserving the land. Because the land has been largely denuded of trees and grazed with cattle for many years, it is leached of its natural minerals and is in need of regeneration.
In addition, traditional small-holder farming is giving way to mass-production, and unfortunately also GMO farming. In part because of this, and as is so frequently the case in isolated, rural towns in developing world countries, many of the youth find themselves without work or other opportunities. Unfortunately Alto has therefore slowly developed some of the less savory trends of modern cities, and many young men have turned to crack cocaine, alcohol and other forms of addiction.
Our mission is to create a bio-forestry project which both supports the preservation of land, whilst also providing work, education and mentoring for those addicted to substances (as well as their families):
1 - We are planning a beautiful development of the land - lake, forest, planting of edible produce - grains, fruits, vegetables and cacao. We will provide space for the construction of a centre for reintegrating the men back into society. They will also be able to work on the land within our bio-forestry project.
2 - A shop/cafe in Alto town centre - for selling artesanal products to support the project, as well for showcasing our bio-forestry plans, so that we can inspire others.