Vendors lose big payday as Brazil cancels Carnival

The cancellation of Brazil’s annual Carnival celebrations due to a resurgence of COVID-19 is not only a huge disappointment to revelers, but also a big financial blow to street vendors who will miss out on their biggest payday of the year.

Claudia Máximo Torres and her wife Daylane normally sell some 10,000 cans of beer to partygoers at Carnival time in São Paulo, where parties can stretch over several weeks, earning them a profit of more than $1,300.

“When you aim for something, at carnival is the possibility of making a dream come true. For example, I want to pay all my debts, on the card. If you work hard enough, this is possible. "

But that won’t be the case this year.. The couple are among tens of thousands who work as street vendors who will miss out on the annual boon.

Brewer Ambev, which normally rolls out massive promotional campaigns at Carnival in cooperation with the vendors, is instead launching an aid program to help the sellers.

In addition, Ambev is lending a hand to the vaccine rollout efforts in Brazil, including switching coolers typically used for drinks, and using them instead for vaccines.

Chief Executive of Ambev, Jean Jereissati:

"The coolers that we use annually for Carnival (for street vendors to sell drinks), were necessary at health posts for the storage of vaccines. What we used to buy for the carnival, we bought to donate to the Ministry of Health with a small adaptation to store vaccines for these millions of health posts throughout Brazil. "

With the normally festive streets of Carnival desolate this year, many Brazilians now pin their hopes that a vaccine rollout could mean their beloved Carnival returns next year.