Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
"Water is important since there is no life without it. Our people cannot move away from our wetlands because our life is bound to water. We draw our food from water. In the water we maintain our homes, and we live without harming our environment," says one Guato man. They call themselves "people of the river." North American researchers call them "aquatic nomads."
Once considered extinct, the Guato Indians now number approximately 400. They live in the Pantanal Region of southwestern Brazil, the largest wetland area in the world, and one of the most pristine and biologically diverse areas on earth. Some of this region spills over into Paraguay and Bolivia.
In the past, they practically lived in their canoes. The women sat in back to steer, while the men hunted from the front of the canoe. During the dry season, from April to October, the Guatos sometimes even spent the night on the river in their canoes. Only during the rainy season do they move to a high, dry spot of land and erect temporary shelters.
Today, some of the Guato have menial jobs, while some of the men serve as guides for eco-tourists. About 20 percent consider themselves Catholic, and about 80 percent practice folk religion.
* Pray that the Lord would send hearty evangelical missionaries to live in the vast Pantanal Region.
* Pray that the Guato will come to know Christ, the true Living Water.