Each year as July approaches, the quiet city of Parintins in Amazonas, Brazil, comes alive as thousands of visitors from around the world arrive to celebrate Festival Folclórico de Parentins (Parintins Folklore Festival).

For three days in late June, the population of Parintins grows from 80 thousand inhabitants to 180,000 with the arrival of 100,000 revelers from around the globe ready to participate in the legendary festivities and witness the spectacular pageantry.  

Often called Festival do Boi-Bumbá, Bumba Meu Boi, or simply Festival, the event celebrates a local legend about a resurrected ox.  The celebrations center around two teams -- Garantido and Caprichoso -- that compete in extended retellings of the story with flamboyant dances, singing, and parade floats in the "Bumbódromo," a round stage with an audience capacity of 35,000. Each nightly performance is an extravaganza in itself, largely based on local Amazonian folklore and indigenous culture, but also incorporating contemporary Brazilian rhythms and themes.

"The sponsorship of the Parintins Festival is one of our most important cultural sponsorships in Brazil, which results from a close and long lasting relationship with Amazonas and its inhabitants.  Everything we do in Amazonas is associated to sustainability -- when we create thousands of jobs that greatly reduce the environmental pressure of man on the forest, when we support Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, and even when we invest in one of the most beautiful popular festivals in the world," says Marco Simões, Coca-Cola Brasil's Communication and Sustainability vice-president.

More than just spectacular parades

Coca-Cola Brazil has invested R$82 million in support of the Festival over the last 20 years. 

During this year’s event, which ran June 28-30, Coca-Cola Brazil sponsored bulls for the two competing teams and hired 700 locals to construct and manage a VIP area for guests in the Bumbódromo.  The VIP box was decorated exclusively with recycled materials produced in local carpentry shops, reinforcing Coke’s commitment to sustainability.

In total, more than three thousand Parintins residents were directly involved behind-the-scenes of the 2014 Festival.  One thousand locals participated in each of the folk groups, making costumes, props and floats.

Amidst the festivities, Coca-Cola Brazil also worked with members of local civil society, government and private initiatives to begin discussing new solutions for the sustainable development of the Amazon Region. “The enthusiasm and collaborative spirit we saw over just a few days of conversation is inspiring,” says Claudia Lorenzo, Director of Social Business at Coca-Cola Brazil. “We are beginning our first steps on an important journey with new partners. And together, we can have tremendous impact – much more than any one of us would have working alone.”

Coca-Cola Coletivo

The shared value platform Coca-Cola Coletivo also played a part in events surrounding the festivities in Parintins.  The Arts Coletivo trained five Parintins families to produce bags, domestic utensils and decorative items using local raw materials and recyclable materials, such as soft drink containers, to be sold during the Festival.

Coletivo is a transformational platform to strengthen local communities and build the business, based on a proprietary approach to community engagement, life-skills education and access to economic opportunity. To date, Coletivo has benefited more than 70,000 people across the country.

Coletivo includes seven models across the system’s value chain, tackling some of society’s greatest challenges. While each model includes distinct employment-based training, all Coletivo programs emphasize life skills and self-confidence to equip participants to build their own futures. Learn more.

Coca-Cola Brazil and Sustainability

Coca-Cola Brazil is committed to sustainability and it’s visible in the way the company and its bottlers care for people and the environment. The Coca-Cola Brazil water use rate, for example, is one of the best in the world: 1.87 liters of water are used for each liter of beverage produced – less than half the volume used 14 years ago.

Since 1996, Coca-Cola Brazil’s Recycling Coletivo has helped make the country one of the most efficient in material recycling. Today, 98% of all aluminum cans and 56% of all PET bottles are recycled.

To learn more about Coca-Cola in Brazil and its sustainability initiatives, visit: www.institutococacolabrasil.com.br and www.cocacolabrasil.com.br.