Care To Take A Dip?

After a day in the water, the group gets to be on the water, taking a boat tour of the mangrove environment on the Tiete River. Split between two boats, the students and professors have guides discussing the natural life of the area, the unique mangrove environment, the history of this specific location, and the current state of the ecosystem. Repercussions of human action are evident throughout the tour; the river is heavily polluted with chemicals, other run-off, and floating trash. Humbling are the favelas, or slums, where people have built their homes literally out over the river. Those who live in them still depend on the river and use it as a viable water source. Further down the river, the mangroves are still recuperating from damage caused by pollution from a steel smelting factory in the 1980's. The speed boats zoom in close to the industrial facilities on the shore. Non-human life is also prevalent in the mangroves. A flock of brilliantly red Scarlet Ibis's flies by the group. After the boat tour, everyone heads to the bus station in Tiete. On the luxurious Brazilian busses, students unwind, on their way to Piracicaba for the next leg of the trip.