Lifelines/Aspectos Vitais: The Convergence of Arts, Ecology and Culture in the Amazon and New England is our first travel exchange, this is a scientific and cultural-based project designed to connect a group of Bridgeport high school students with their peers in the Amazonian rain forest.

Supported by a prestigious grant administered by the American Alliance of Museums and funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lifelines is being facilitated in partnership with Stepping Stones Museum for Children and The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. On the Brazilian side of the project, the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi in Belém de Pará, Brazil.

This yearlong exchange will immerse Connecticut and Brazilian teams of high school students and teachers in the international exploration of watersheds as ecological, cultural and economic lifelines.

Phase 2 Update (December 2016):

After sharing original art and experiencing a first Interactive Videoconference, the 14-member American team visited Brazil from November 19 until  December 3, 2016.

The team spent  the first part of the exchange in the Goeldi Museum’s host city of Belém.  Then, embarked a vessel on a 249-mile, multi-day river journey to the Ferreira Penna Scientific Research Station located in the Amazon’s Caxiuanã National Forest.  At the Station, the American youth and instructors joined their Brazilian counterparts (180+ students and instructors from thirteen riverside communities, including São Sebastião – the primary school partner) to take part in the Goeldi’s annual Olympics in the Forest program. The Olympics workshops focused on issues related to sustainable use of water and how watersheds influence communities. Students had almost 6 days of a full immerse cultural exchange allowing them to  create  and document together their own experience by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, music and other sounds. These storytelling pieces will soon be available. The American team returned on November 30th  by boat to Belém where they visited the Research Center at the Goeldi Museum and other city attractions and finally traveling back to the United States on December the 3rd.

We have created a playlist with some of the Virtual Reality Videos (VR) filmed during our trip to Brazil. These videos bring a unique experience to all readers that want to understand the type of places and the people we have met on this amazing Amazonian trip. There are 19 videos in total. We recommend you to watch these videos using your mobile device, a VR set and a pair of headphones in order to get the best experience possible.

We invite you to follow this project on social media via: #LifelinesExchange

Please also check the photo gallery below.

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