Hometown: Becket, Massachusetts and Sergipe, Brazil
Profession: Direct Support Professional/ Musician/ Homesteader
Taz was born and raised in the smallest state of Brazil by the Atlantic Ocean and spent his whole childhood living off the land without electricity or running water. He lived this lifestyle because he needed to, in order to fulfill his basic needs to survive, live, and to thrive. As he got older, Taz wanted to escape the hardship that it is to live off the land, so he decided to pursue education. He attended high school in the nearby town and fell in love with theater, deciding then that he would strive to become a professional actor.
Then, at 16 years old, Taz got the news that he was going to have twins. He finished up his education while making ends meet to support his newborns and himself. Through his acting career, Taz met his ex-partner who brought him to the U.S. where he continued to distance himself from the traditional living style he grew up with in pursuit of a more modern way of life. However, at 24, as he crossed the Utah desert on a survival course, he had a change of heart. Taz realized that he had a set of skills that was very valuable for himself and for the world, and by pursuing a modern lifestyle, he was letting those skills go to waste. That year, he stopped running away from nature and decided to embrace it and dive deeper into the beauty that is to be connected to all elements of nature, hunting, fishing, foraging and listening.
He found himself on a homestead in Western Massachusetts, where he was able to reconnect with nature in a way he hadn’t in years. After a couple of years, he moved into his treehouse, where he has been living ever since.
Currently, Taz works as a direct support professional helping individuals on the autism spectrum to explore the natural world by taking them on hiking excursions on the Appalachian Trail—helping them to create gardens, learn to be musical, play sports and practice survival skills. Taz also transposed his artistic skills from acting to the musicianship realm. He is part of a few musical groups in the Berkshires that explore and share his cultural heritage. One of Taz’s new musical projects is a traditional music trio called Samba Trio, with whom he tours in Western Massachusetts sharing traditional and modern Brazilian music. In his free time, he homesteads, jams and plays chess with friends from all different walks of life.
Taz is incredibly excited to take on the Alone challenge. He has dreamed for years of buying a home with a piece of land and bringing his twins from Brazil to live with him on his homestead. He knows the competition is tough, but if he can pull it off, winning this competition could finally give him a sense of belonging and the warmth of his family in this new country.
Here are the ten items Taz selected to bring on his survival journey the bone-chilling temperatures of Northern Saskatchewan, Canada:
1. Sleeping Bag
2. Ferro Rod
3. Cooking Pot
6. Fishing Line and Hooks
8. Snare Wire
9. Bow and Arrows