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Niède Guidon

Out of her own pocket

Niède Guidon: prize money for reform

André pessoaNiède Guidon: prize money for constructionAndré pessoa

What to do with a R$300,000 prize? Archeologist Niède Guidon had no doubt: she designated a portion of the prize money awarded to her by the Conrado Wessel Foundation in 2013—received in recognition of her work—to expedite construction of the São Raimundo Nonato Airport, in the state of Piauí. “I paid what should have been paid by the state government,” says Guidon, the founding director of the Museum of the American Man Foundation, created in Piauí in 1986. According to Guidon, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has funds to build the Museum of Nature in the neighboring municipality of Coronel José Dias. But in order for the funds to be released, the BNDES requires that the site be designated for tourism—and hence, a public airport will be needed to access the municipality. Guidon explains that the São Raimundo Nonato Airport is registered as private, and its approval as a public airport by the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) will require infrastructural works. Owing to the urgent need for the approval, the archeologist offered to pay what the state government would be spending. She has allocated R$100,000 for staffing and procurement of materials. “We’ve installed 16 light poles and a drainage system, built fences and cleaned up the terrain,” she says. The application for approval has now been submitted.