Cattle ranchers keep burning the Amazon, but supporting sustainable food producers can help conserve it.

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The Amazon’s best-known export, açaí berries are in demand around the world. (Photo courtesy Imaflora)

These days, the word “Amazon” brings ecommerce to mind more often than the world’s largest tropical rainforest, which is under threat once again from raging fires driven by record levels of forest clearing for cattle ranching and soy production. Unlikely though it sounds, however, commerce could actually be a way to save the Amazon.

We tend to think of the Amazon rainforest as one thing: an impossibly large expanse of green. But what best defines it is diversity. Its 7.8 million hectares spread across nine countries are home to more than 30 million people, who between them speak over 300 languages. The flora and fauna comprise 10% of the world’s known species, and there are plenty we don’t yet know. …

On the border of Brazil and Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most breathtaking series of waterfalls. But beyond the majestic — and heavily touristed — falls, there’s much more wilderness to explore.

Photographs by Sebastián Liste
Illustrations by Celia Jacobs

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The view of the horseshoe-shaped falls from the Brazilian side.

Butterflies in a Carnaval of colors, some as big as your palm, swirl like autumn leaves in the breeze. …

Electricity arrived just a few years ago. It’s a helluva trek to make. And yet: Once you arrive at this beach town on the Bahian coast, you’ll find a zenlike paradise that’s simply unmatchable.

Photographs by Pia Riverola

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Avenida dos Navegantes serves as the quaint town’s main street, and it’s a perfect place to while away an evening over a cold beer and a plate of fried fish.

NATACHA DA COSTA MARQUES’S dream was to grow old by the sea, eating fried shrimp and drinking cold beer within earshot of waves lapping the shore. …


Catherine Balston

Freelance writer / editor. Sourdough obsessive. Happy to call São Paulo home. (

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