Project Pracatum
(see photos)

One of the most important communitarian works of Bahia, the "Pracatum Project" is the Carlinhos Brown musicality teaching school for disadvantaged children in his home district of Candeal ("Candy All"). Brown was born and grew up living the social problems of the Candeal slum, taking from them power to exercise his leadership in the process of creating better life conditions to his community. This social concernment allied to his natural music talent, made him one of the most important and famous compositors in Brazil. He is the leader of the internationally famous percussion group "Timbalada" and one of the 3 components of "Tribalistas", group that made one sole CDs that sold a lot worldwide. Brown has recently become very popular in some spanish language countries, where he is known as "Carlito Marron". 

During the construction of the school, workers tapped into previously undiscovered natural springs. Ghetto residents, not realizing the value of these springs, began to pollute them. This act inspired Brown to compose a song which was very much sung at Carnival in 1997 and has become a famous song for Timbalada - "Mineral Waters of Candeal".

"Have you drank water? No!
Are you thirsty? Yes!
Look, look to the mineral water
Mineral water
Mineral water of Candeal
You will be feeling very good . . ."

Carlinhos plans to develop a formal program to educate residents of Candeal regarding these springs and encourage them to assume responsibility for protecting this valuable resource.

The Director of Pracatum, following Carlinhos Brown´s directions, is Selma Calablich, responsible for hiring the school's instructors, recruiting students and designing the curriculum. The curriculum is varied and the school cooperates with government programs to further encourage student interest in education. The majority, of the students attending Pracatum come from the district of Candeal. The school works next to "Ghetto Square", a concert facility which Carlinhos Brown built for "Timbalada" presentations.

The school is now under reconstruction. The inhabitants of Candeal will receive until the end of May/2004, a new school, with the ability to receive students in wheelchairs and with a new culture and technology center that will extend the current capacity of the school of music from 126 to 2400 vacancies in varied professionalizing courses technician.

341 families among the approximately 4,000 people in Candeal, also benefit from another program established by Carlinhos Brown in 1986 to provide assistance for renovation of homes. "Ta Rebocado" which is both an expression among the Bahian people meaning "it's for sure!" and the final touch - the end of construction which involves the application of stucco, began with only 10 homes and covered the cost of reboco (stucco) and paint to refinish the homes. The state government recognized the program and made a decision to participate in and support the project. Now the Ta Rebocado project team includes architects, sanitation engineers and social workers.


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