Once a year, the small city of Alto Paraiso becomes the ultimate destination for all the motor fans in the Amazon area. With only 6,500 habitants in its urban area, every February the city becomes densely packed with more than 45,000 visitors coming from all over the region, a multitude of men and women united by their passion for music, mud and diesel smoke.
In a race track made of dirt and water from the abundant Amazonian rains, vehicles which seem to come from a Hanna & Barbera cartoon dispute, from mud puddle to mud puddle, the most exotic grand prix of the Brazilian automobilism. While the high and typical roar of their stationary motors echoes all over the "autodrome", the jericos* and its pilots fight amidst lots of smoke and mud in the eyes for a better performance in the narrow and slippery circuit of Alto Paraiso. Every victory, every passing is effusively celebrated in Dionysiac mud baths.
By the end of the week, the peaceful city in the heart of the Amazon Forest goes back to normality and the jericos*, once fast and furious machines, are back again to the calm rhythm of the countryside, carrying the heavy weight of life over their trunks.
* Jerico is the suggestive name of this makeshift vehicle, very popular in the Amazon and famous for its capacity of carrying weight. Meaning mule in Portuguese, these machines are commonly built by putting together a steering wheel, a junked chassis and a mining pump engine.
Anderson Schneider is a Brazilian photographer and the author of this video. Wanna know more? Visit andersonschneider.com