Women like Raulina Pereira da Silva, known as Baiana, 60 years old, who arrived in the centenary city of Peixe in 1976, is one of the outstanding characters in the town’s commerce, where she has a bar and restaurant on the banks of the BR-242. She left the state of Bahia when she was 19 years old and, since then, she has faced many difficulties to ensure the financial support of her family. “The municipality of Peixe was very backward. It is a history that we have with this city and, despite not being the daughter of Peixe, I really like this place and I want the municipality to grow and develop. This is my dream because when I arrived here there was no road and practically nothing. We lived in a thatched shed. Today I am proud to live on the banks of the BR-242, where there is a very beautiful cloverleaf at the door of my shop and I find it bad when tourists speak ill of Peixe, despite the lack of many things in the city, such as a beautiful presence at the entrance. When all the mayors enter, I ask them to make a gateway to the city that is rich in natural beauty with a very beautiful riverside and nobody does anything”, says Mrs. Raulina Pereira da Silva, known from Bahia.
Another example of how the women of Peixe excelled in the self-employment market to increase family income can be found in the story of the potter Dona Luzeni Rodrigues, 55 years old, known in the centenary Peixe as Mestra Lusa. She was born on the Brejo Alegre farm in Peixe on the right bank of the Tocantins River and when she lived with her family in the countryside she took advantage of part of the year to collect clay in the forests of the Tocantins River to start the art of producing clay pieces that she had learned from her mother. “I was born here, I raised my children here in Peixe and I walked a lot on these farms, working with clay, with the fields and today I am working with clay. I live in the city and I no longer have a farm to work in the fields and I stay here in the city of Peixe working with clay”, said Mrs Lusa.
The works of Dona Luzeni are gradually being recognized and show that the cultural and tourism riches of Peixe are not only found in the Tocantins River, but the genetic-cultural heritage of its residents, such as the gifts of master Lusa with her pottery in which various pieces with brands through their rusticity and cultural importance in architecture, as does the businesswoman Claudia Valle who employs the artisan, who even thought about giving up to be a street sweeper, and still buys her products to harmonize the environment of an inn. Lusa’s potential was recognized at the end of June when she was one of the finalists for the “Dona Miúda – Mestres, Mestras, Griôs and Groups of Traditional and Popular Culture of Tocantins ” Award and took the prize of R$ 10 to Peixe thousand from the State Culture Fund carried out by the Instituto Cidadania Amazônia, with the objective of promoting the recognition and appreciation of the holders of popular and traditional cultural knowledge and expressions who, through their knowledge and forms of expression, preserve history and memory of the Tocantins. The entrepreneurship of the women of Peixe broke the boundaries of the municipality and became national prominence through an example like the Tocantins chef Rosilene Pereira da Silva, popularly known as “Rosa de Fogo”, winner of the Dólmã Award , Oscar of Brazilian gastronomy. “I am representing Tocantins, but the greatest representation is for the municipality of Peixe. I wanted this award, thinking about my municipality and I saw the great opportunity to show our municipality to the world with this award. We are a state with a very rich gastronomy”, said Rosa de Fogo in an interview with journalist Henrique Lopes. Rosa de Fogo became a woman present in the journalistic agendas of Tocantins and, as an entrepreneur, represented Tocantins at the 45th ABAV International Tourism Expo held at Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo, in 2017, when she showed the potential of the municipality of Peixe for the Brazil and 25 countries. In March 2022, Rosa de Fogo, representing the Secretary of Tourism, managed to include the municipality of Peixe, in the National Tourism map program organized and managed by Embratur, from the Ministry of Tourism.
Women unite and organizeAccording to data from Sebrae, despite its vocation for tourism, agriculture dominates the economy of the Municipality of Peixe, which has 271 Individual Micro and Entrepreneurs (MEI), 161 micro-enterprises and 13 small businesses. The analysis of Sebrae data on MEIs shows that 77 micro-enterprises operate in the clothing retail trade, 21 in the beverage retail trade and 10 in the cafeteria trade, which will soon have their numbers increased through projects involving the participation of women entrepreneurs from Fish. To promote the entrepreneurial side of women, Peixe was included in the project Força Mulher – Cidade Empreendedora of Sebrae with the objective of “productive inclusion of women from the Bolsa Família register through entrepreneurship, contributing to the achievement of work as an opportunity to rescue the dignity and generation of employment and income, strengthening local development” by attracting socio-professionals. “Fish, we trained 20 women in sewing”, said Sebrae technician Thiago Milhomem.
Commercial Association Seeking to transform the lives of women from families with financial difficulties, businesswoman Cláudia Valle, owner of an inn in the city and vice-president of the Associação Agropecuária, Comercial e Industrial de Peixe – ACIPE, continues with body and soul in social projects as happened with Master Lusa. The last one, in partnership with businesswoman Suely from Farmácia Modelo and Dr. Bruna and young Josevan, changed the aesthetics of the workplace of Mrs. Aparecida Lopes Pereira, 42 , known as Mrs. Cidinha, giving her the opportunity to be, in addition to being a house, the wife of the fisherman and boatman, Broco, to have her skewer transformed and the family income increased by attracting customers from the city and tourists. “These are the people who can transform this city into a more pleasant and receptive place”, evaluated businesswoman Cláudia Valle in an interview with Portal Atitude.