Riverine populations are traditional communities residing on riverbanks and depending on fishing, agriculture and natural resource extraction. They were originally founded with the support of the Catholic Church and some are over 100 years old.
These communities are part of the “cabocla” culture, represented by the fusion of Portuguese and Indigenous traditions. Most live in very precarious economic, health, educational and housing conditions.
Riverine economies are fundamentally agricultural and extractive, primarily manioc production for flour but also including corn, beans, bananas, watermelon, cocoa, nuts, açaí, copaiba and tucumã. Extraction, consisting primarily of gathering uncultivated nuts, açaí, copaiba and tucumã, provides a significant portion of household income for some families.
All of these activities are labor intensive and artisanal and goods are transported on foot and by canoe. Generally, an intermediary will collect products and take them to market, being the only solution for those with the greatest transportation issues.