Society

Mumbuca Rules Everything Around Maricá

Amid widespread hardship during Brazil's pandemic, the city of Maricá is an island of prosperity, with robust aid programs and a solid Covid-19 response. The solution? Creating their own currency

Maricá resident checks-in in decentralized health center. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

With over 444,000 Covid-19 deaths, the pandemic has left an indelible social, humanitarian, and financial strain on Brazil. Unemployment is at an all-time high and falling incomes have left roughly 19 million Brazilians hungry — a further 116 million (over half the entire population) faced some degree of food insecurity during the pandemic. Amid the hardship, the small city of Maricá — just 60 kilometers up the coast from Rio de Janeiro — has become something of a socioeconomic island. To mitigate the negative effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the local government has employed a series...

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