“The devil’s train”
“The luggage they brought with them to São Paulo was filled with hope. Some came for work, others were looking for relatives who’d been swallowed up by the big city, others dreamed of recovering their lost health. They all wanted that one thing that for many was no more than a wish: a better life. And now the time had come for them to go back home: a place in the middle of nowhere in Minas, a small town in the backlands of Bahia. With a bundle of clothes and charity train fare, they boarded the red wood cars of the “Bahian train.” Creatures mistreated by fate were heading home with no more hope. The journey is long and arduous.” (article published in Realidade magazine, May of 1969, with text by Patricio Renato)
In late February and early March of 1969, Andujar took the long train ride from Roosevelt Station (today Brás) in São Paulo to Salvador, Bahia. The journey lasted 7 days and most of the passengers were migrants from other states who had tried their luck in São Paulo. With no prospects in the capital, they ended up at the Department of Immigration and Colonization of the Secretary of Agriculture of São Paulo state, where they received a boxed lunch and a ticket home. Andujar took the long trip, registering the passengers with admirable empathy.