The Forgotten Sertão

It’s the other Brazil, the anti-Amazon, the poorest and most arid region in Latin America. The Sertão, the Brazilian outback, is twice the size of England: part sea, part desert and part steppe, where life is hard and poverty is rife in the streets. Half of South America’s poorest inhabitants live here, in the Sertão, a forgotten corner of Brazil. A land of toil, of farmers and breeders who cross their fingers each year, praying for the absence of two natural phenomena: the drought, then the deluge of rain. Fifteen million sertanejos live in this humble and underdeveloped land, but this has done nothing to dampen their spirits. Over the years, Sertão has become an epic metaphor, in literature as in real life. A metaphor of battle against death, of resistance against isolation, of an obstinate wish to build a future.