Standing in front of his mom, Pedro Henrique Costa-Soares, 2, holds on to his treasured possession - plastic horse toy as he says good bye in the early morning to his cowboy dad Leandro Soares. Leandro is about to take off to vaccinate calves in a remote part of the ranch. Leandro is one of the very few cowboys who live on the ranch Fazenda São Lourenço with his family. Most farm hands spend 3-6 months on the farm and go back to the city for a couple weeks to see their wives and kids before returning to the farm. June 20th., 2014.
Cowboys rode their horses across the wetlands of Pantanal in Brazil for 200 years, ever since the "elimination" of the Iast significant Indian tribes from the area. An entire culture, economic system, art forms and lifestyle developed around the work of cowboys on the Pantanal cattle ranches. The work in the largest wetlands of the world is hard and dangerous, the marshes are full of snakes, deadly spiders, alligators and jaguars. The cows are semi wild and sometimes unpredictable, especially when defending their calves.
This generation of cowboys may well be the last one to roam the endless wetlands of what once was an inland sea.
It has become increasingly difficult for ranch owners to find qualified cowboys to work and live on the ranches for months at a time. Many families have moved away from the farms and into nearby cities. The natural passage of the cowboy skills from one rural generation to another has been severely strained if not broken. Soon, the Pantanal cowboys will take their last ride into the sunset.
- The Last Cowboys of Pantanal_2021Website_0012.JPG
- Marcin Szczepanski
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- The Last Cowboys of Pantanal