Camaragibe | Brazil
Camaragibe (population 143.210) is a city in northeastern Brazil, in the State of Pernambuco. It lies near Recife at 8.00° South, 35.04° West.
Currently, Camaragibe is run by Jorge Alexandre (from the political party PSDB, the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy) and Reginaldo Albuquerque (The Vice-mayor).
Coordinates: 8°01′19″S 34°58′51″W
The lands now belonging to the city were used as a reserve of wood, and then for sugar planting. It was populated by natives, until the arrival of Portuguese with Duarte Coelho Pereira, around 1500. After the Portuguese arrival, however, the natives were not completely driven from the area. Instead, they lived "peacefully" with the invaders.
In the 16th century the city (then just an engenho) was considered one of richest in the region until the Dutch invasion in 1645. At that time, the farm was burned to the ground by the natives.
On 13 May 1982, Camaragibe, which was then part of the bigger city São Lourenço da Mata, was elevated to the category of city.
The small city is considered among the most densely populated urban areas in the world because of the very accelerated growth that the city experienced from the emancipation until now.
In the 17th century, the Netherlands was experiencing a surge of freedom and progress, and wanted to expand their colonies in the American continent. Its society, its economy and the arts (which included paintings of great beauty and high artistic level[according to whom?]) experienced the benefits of modern capitalism, driven by the ambition of a powerful bourgeoisie.[neutrality is disputed] A symbolic expression of this new economy was a branch of the Dutch West India Company – that would be called a transnational corporation today – which had influence throughout the world and controlled much of the trade between East and West. A Board of nineteen members appointed Prince Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau, Governor of Pernambuco. It was an auspicious choice for Northeast, because he was a lover of the arts, a versatile and competent talent, with a deep interest in the New World. In 1637 he opened his government guidelines quite different from those of the Portuguese colonists, declaring "Freedom of Religion and Trade". His entourage contained traders, artists, planners, German and Dutch citizens. He was accompanied by six painters, including Jonh Post and Albert Eckhout. Nassau also created an environment of Dutch religious tolerance, new to Portuguese America and irritating to his Calvinist associates. Nassau was the first to replace sugar production monoculture with an economic polyculture.
Pernambuco State has the 5th highest sugarcane Brazilian production. Brazil is the second largest producer of alcohol fuel in the world, typically fermenting ethanol from sugarcane and sugar beets. The country produces a total of 18 billion liters annually, of which 3.5 billion are exported, 2 billion of them to the US. Alcohol-fueled cars started in the Brazilian market in 1978 and became quite popular because of heavy subsidy, but in the 80s prices rose and gasoline regained the leading market share. But from 2004 on, alcohol rapidly increased its market share once again because of new technologies involving hybrid fuel car engines called "Flex" by all major car manufacturers (Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Peugeot, Honda, Citroën, Fiat, etc.). "Flex" engines work with gasoline, alcohol or any mixture of both fuels. As of February 2007, approximately 80% of new vehicles sold in Brazil are hybrid fuel powered. Because of the Brazilian lead in production and technology, many countries became very interested in importing alcohol fuel and adopting the "Flex" vehicle concept. On 7 March 2007, US president George W. Bush visited the city of São Paulo to sign agreements with Brazilian president Lula on importing alcohol and its technology as an alternative fuel.
Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese, for whom Saint John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on 24 June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice, but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12 June, on the eve of Saint Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Once exclusively a rural festival, today, in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served, including canjica and pamonha. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.
Saint John's Day is celebrated throughout Pernambuco. Nonetheless, the festivities in Caruaru are by far the largest in the state. Saint John's festivals in Gravatá and Carpina are also very popular.