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Inflation in Abadiânia

Melinda Holland is a regular and devoted visitor to Abadiânia. Following her recent visit there, Melinda expresses genuine and increasing concerns about rising prices in Abadiânia.

I went to see Joao (something I NEVER do) and he said not all the money in Brazil or the USA could buy the cashoiera (waterfall) and the source, but 3 blocks of land between the Casa and the Cashoeria are for sale. One has already been sold but the owners are under some restrictions about how they use the land, for eg. they are not allowed to chop down the trees. My friend the group leader Heather was there and told me the forests are protected in Goias.

Prices are escalating everywhere in Abadiânia and its my fear that prices will soon be so high that people who need to stay there for a long time for their healing won't be able to afford it. Im also worried or the Brazilians and South Americans who dont have a lot of money and travel long distances in buses to the Casa. These people do not stay now because of costs and come just for one day.

Most pousadas are now 30 to 50 reais a night. Two pousadas doubled in price and several of the others had at least two price rises during the time I was in Abadiânia. Very few pousadas offer a monthly rate which is an additional impact on those who need to be there for the long term. Those that do offer a good monthly rate include Hotel Brazil, Pousada do Sol and Santa Rita.

As you can tell, there have been huge price rises in Abadiânia ( the taxis as well have gone up a lot) and this cannot all be explained because of inflation. Inflation in Brazil in the last 12 months was only 8%.

A significant cause of the problem we think is that Americans (and it IS mostly Americans) go to Abadiânia and call everything cheap and pay tips and overpay for things and then this raises the price for everyone. For example, local taxi fares were R$3 but on several occasions people just gave $5 and said "keep the change" - well guess what - now the taxi fare is $5 ! Another example, a woman was to be charged $2 for a bag, and when the seller didn't have change for $10 she said "Keep the change - it's nothing to me " ...

Not every country in the world goes to Brazil with an exchange rate 3 or 4 times their own currency and in fact, many people from many countries have to borrow money to get there so it's terribly sad that the thoughtless actions of some people are raising the prices to unaffordable levels for many others. Houses and land are rapidly being bought up all over town and prices being asked are now outrageous. Un-remodelled houses were, in November last year, worth up to $15 000 reais ($30-35,000 for the same but remodelled) and land $3000 a block BUT there have been recent sales of similar for more than $45,000 and there are currently two houses on the market where the people are asking over $100,000 and they aren't that special or big. The middle men that do the deals are making money and so are the owners but it's outpricing the locals who are selling their soul to sell off their land and houses and it's pushing up the price for everyone else around town. I have seen how it was 5 years ago in Abadiânia when it was a quiet town, and whilst I think everyone should have the opportunity to go to the Casa the changes are scary to say the least.

Melinda Holland

(Please note that the views expressed by Melinda are not necessarily shared by the Friends of the Casa. We do, however invite you to share your response to this article.)