The Mbaracayú forest is located at a remote spot in Paraguay, formed by the upper basin of the Jejuí river and the Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve. The place is a sanctuary for a number of endangered species and a hotspot of biodiversity.
But for people living around the area, daily life can be a challenge. Going to school, for instance, is not easy, not only because children have to make their way there by cutting through the thick vegetation that takes over the roads, but also because of a lack of resources for education as well as the prejudices society has against women.
In 2008, Moises Bertoni Foundation, the body that manages the natural reserve, established the Mbaracayú Educational Center as an initiative to offer quality education for teenage girls living in and around the reserve. It offers high school technical degrees in environmental sciences.
This is the focus of the 2015 film “Daughters of the Forest,” directed by San Francisco, California-based Samantha Grant. The documentary will be shown at the 10th Annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, to be held in March 23-27.
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