Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
The Island
Location: Ponta Delgada, Azores
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in Macau, China, that focus his work mostly in South East Asia. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ)... read on
Public Story
The Island
Credits: eduardo leal
Updated: 11/30/16

Surrounded by sand and lagoons in Lençois do Maranhão National Park, an area that stretches 155 thousand hectares on the State of Maranhão in Brazil, lives a small community in an oasis called Queimada dos Britos.

No one knows when the community was founded, but the legend says that the founder Manuel Brito, left his homeland in the Ceará State due to severe drought and ended up settling down in the oasis named by the locals as “the island”. Today his decedents continue to live on the oasis, often intermarrying with each other, turning every habitat into a relative.

Around 60 people live in Queimada dos Britos, but the locals are not sure since there is always someone going away or coming back. During summers they live of fishing in the sea, that is two hours away, but during the winter, they breed fish in the lagoons and raise goats, which run free on the dunes. They have small gardens for farming, but nothing major since the dunes keep moving and will cover most of them, something that has to happen with several houses in the community.

The closest village is four hours walking on the sand, but nowadays tourism is reaching the quiet life of Queimada dos Britos bringing some income, which is well received when the visitors step in. The downturn is that more and more agencies from nearby cities are bringing tourists into the park on motor vehicles, and locals claim affecting the environment and their peaceful way of life. But not only their life is threatened by the tourists and the sand, but the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) is also planning to remove them since they live in a National Park. The residents refuse to move since many of them were born there and lived all their lives in the Queimada. They claim that more than a threat; they are a protection to the Lençois do Maranhão.


By Eduardo Leal —



By Eduardo Leal / Porto, portugal — “Lockdown” is a small series that focuses on my rearview window to the old town of Porto during..

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By Eduardo Leal / Hong Kong — Hong Kong was engulfed with months-long of protests due to an unpopular extradition bill to mainland China...


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Plastic Sea

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Cholita's Rise

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St. Bartolomeu

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Revolution Chronicles

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Ghost Town Democracy

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Copa do Povo

By Eduardo Leal / São Paulo, Brazil — Even if football was born in England, Brazil is considered the spiritual home of the game. During a month,..

Bolivian Ball

By Eduardo Leal / Potosi, Bolivia — Travis Dupree comes from Eastman, a small town in central Georgia. He played basketball at Voorhees College..

Killer Bean

By Eduardo Leal / Argentina — The soybean will in a few years become one of the most important food commodities on earth. No other fruit..

Wrestling Cholitas

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Every Sunday afternoon on the city of El Alto, once merely suburb of the city of La Paz situated at 4,150..


By Eduardo Leal / Portugal — Portuguese forcados lie somewhere between the bull riders of the Americas and the bloodier bullfighters of..

Plastic Trees

By Eduardo Leal / Uyuni, Bolivia — The world consumes 1 million every minute, it was considered by Guinness World Book of Records as..

Victims & Heroes

By Eduardo Leal / Colombia — Colombia’s armed conflict, which started in the 1960’s, might be close to an end. After almost four years..

Bolivian Dreams

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Linked to the celebration of the harvest and the arrival of the rains in the La Paz region, the Alasitas..
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