There are groups in rural Brazil that merits special attention. Although there has been massive rural to urban migration in Brazil, nearly 40 million people still live in the countryside, and another 10 million live in towns with a population under 20,000.

There are also signs of urban to rural migration which lead to the lack of employment and income opportunities in large cities.

Rural Brazil

Many of the inhabitants of the countryside are rural workers in agriculture, with permanent or, more typically, seasonal employment, particularly in harvesting, an activity in which women and children are also involved. Although a large number of small family farmers have land of their own, millions of rural workers are landless because land tenure is extremely concentrated in Brazil.

In the face of slowness of official land reform, they began to invade unproductive properties in the 1990s. As a result of their organization and massacres of their activists in Rondônia and Pará, they entered the political limelight, and land reform was placed high on the political agenda.

Roadside market, rural Brazil

The rural primary school in Brazil could make important contributions to rural development through its potential to involve adults (parents) in democratic group decisions. The system as it now stands, however, is rigidly hierarchical and allows no space for participation of low income groups in upper-echelon decision making.