Early Life 2 - In The Mayor's Footsteps - Brazil

Every year, the Mina congregation in Sao Luis, Brazil, choose a child Emperor and Empress. Watching this year in the tropical heat is Mayor Amilcar Huancahuari. With the new Brazilian government emphasizing Early Child Development, Amilcar wants to know whether Latin America's richest country can follow the Mina example - or whether violence and poverty are still hindering children's chances of fulfilling their potential.

Outside Sao Luis, Amilcar finds the sons and daughters of shrimp fishermen learning ballet. In the hills beyond Fortaleza he learns how the playground can become a classroom. In the drug favelas of Rio, he sees the classroom turned into a playground for learning.

Mayor Amilcar also journeys to the Modernist capital, Brasilia, to discuss his trip with the Minister for Human Rights. Will he find enough exciting ideas to help the kids back home in Peru?

'It is mesmerizing to watch the Mayor as he interacts with the children and families in Brazil as his genuine interest in their stories is so clear. This video explains the connection between exposure to violence and brain development, with an appearance from Professor Jack Shonkoff of Harvard University. Throughout his travels in Brazil, the Mayor explores innovative approaches to education, learning and socialization. The video shows children at work and play, demonstrating the tactics that the Brazilian government and communities are using and that the Mayor finds so remarkable. Viewers will witness a juxtaposition of the joyful children who are revered and the effects of violence, poverty, and economic disparities.' Mary Jane Eisenhauer, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education, Purdue University North Central

'These powerful films focus on the all too often ignored fact that growing up in poverty, with the high levels of domestic and community violence that often accompany it, can profoundly impact early development. Inspirational Mayor Amilcar Huancahuari of Peru takes us on a heartfelt journey looking at how violence affects young children in his country. Then, he explores groundbreaking programs designed to counteract the harm caused by the violence in the lives of poor children in Brazil that he hopes to bring back to Peru. Anyone who sees these deeply moving films will be more highly motivated and better equipped to promote political, economic and social justice for children, in their own communities and around the world.' Dr. Diane E. Levin, Professor of Education, Wheelock College, Author, Teaching Young Children in Violent Times

'Promoting Mayor Huancahuari's plans for a future where children have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential, both DVDs are uplifting and very highly recommended, especially for public and school library DVD collections.' The Midwest Book Review

'The Mayor is a positive role model because of his unshakeable resolve to break the cycle of violence. His intent to shape public policy to create safe, loving, and nurturing environments for children is laudable. The DVD supports curriculum in family studies, policy studies, social work, and education. The documentary would be helpful to those with an interest in the provision of social services to children and families; it is particularly recommended viewing for those who are concerned about public policy with regard to children's rights and healthy development.' Wendy Highby, University of Northern Colorado, Educational Media Reviews Online


Main credits

Bradshaw, Steve (Director)
Bradshaw, Steve (Screenwriter)
Bradshaw, Steve (Narrator)
Burlamaqui, Luciana (Producer)

Other credits

Music, Audio Network; translator, Bia Carniero; camera, Ricardo Cabellos; editor, Sotira Kyriacou.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

At-risk Youth
Child Development
Child Labor
Conflict Resolution
Developing World
Early Childhood Development
Global Issues
Human Rights
Latin American Studies
Social Psychology


Mayor Amilcar Huancahuari, Brazil, early childhood development, Mina, Sao Luis, child emperor and empress, Brazilian Government, Peru, hindering children's potential, Latin America, violence, poverty, children learning ballet, Guarapiranga,Fortaleza, drug favelas, Complexo da Mare, Yvonne Bezerra de Mello, Rio, Candelaria Church, Aracoiaba, playground as classroom, Dr. Evelyn Eisenstein, corticotrophin, Convention; on the Rights of the Child,; Brasilia, Afro-Catholicism, Bolsa Familia, Bolsa Escola,; "In The Mayor's Footsteps - Brazil"; Bullfrog Films

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