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Marafolia - The São Luís Micareta



Marafolia is the off-season Carnival (micareta in Portuguese) held every year in São Luís, the island capital of Maranhão.

Celebrated in October, Marafolia brings thousands of tourists to Maranhão every year. In Brazil, Marafolia travel packages often include tours of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park and Alcântara.

Marafolia follows the style of Salvador Carnival, with trios elétricos (bands playing on trucks), blocos, or Carnival groups, and abadás, or bloco uniforms.

The Darkest Side of Marafolia:

According to the Brasil Contra a Pedofilia (Brazil Against Pedophilia) blog, governmental child protective agency Promotoria da Infância e Juventude tried to stop Marafolia from taking place on Avenida Litorânea in 2007.

The head of the Promotoria, Sandra Elouf, said, "We received hundreds of complaints about minors consuming alcoholic drinks [in Marafolia], cases of alcoholic coma and sexual abuse of minors."

The Promotoria wanted the event to be held in a closed space, where the indiscriminate sale of alcohol to minors observed during the event could be controlled.

According to Brazil Contra a Pedofilia, the child protective agency proposed a TAC - a conduct adjustment term, but Marafolia organizers refused to sign it.

Marafolia continues on Avenida Litorânea. As a tourist, you can't change all the problems that threaten Brazilian children, but you can still help. Not being a child explorer and abuser is a great first step. Read more about the fight against child sex tourism in Brazil and what you can do for Brazilian children while still enjoying Brazil Carnival and micaretas.

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