Maria Alides is a leader of the babassu coconut palm breaker movement and the current general coordinator of the Inter-state Movement of the Babassu Coconut Breakers (MIQCB), which works in the states of Maranhao, Para, Piaui, and Tocantins. She is part of the Association of the Rural Women Workers of the Lake of Junco, in the Middle Mearim region, where she was born and raised. In 2000 she was a municipal council member and helped to write the municipal “Free Babassu Law”, which led to a broader legislative process to defend the rights of the babassu coconut breakers in the region and other states. The Babassu Fund, which is managed and used by the women babassu coconut breakers to develop small agro-extractivist income generating projects, is one of the achievements of the MIQCB.
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