Porto de Galinhas
Abreu e Lima - Pernambuco
«Cities of Pernambuco
Population: 95.198 inhabitants
Area: 126 km2
Distance from Recife: 20 km
Accesses: BR-101 North, PE-15 and BR-408.
Visit maps of Recife and Pernambuco.
The settlement of the area started when Duarte Coelho, donatary of the Capitaincy of Pernambuco (see History of Pernambuco), divided the captaincy in smaller lots back in 1535. In 1548, the second in command of Pernambuco, Vasco Fernandes, started the sugar-cane farm called Jaguaribe, which would become the village that grew larger and larger to become Abreu e Lima today.
Abreu e Lima, however, only gained emancipation in 1982 (after almost 400 years under the political and administrative domination of Igarassu, and yet another 47 years subordinated to the city of Paulista), with the realization of a plebiscite among the residents.
The name of the city is in memorial to the general José Inácio de Abreu e Lima, the "Inácio Pernambucano".
This military fought 14 years along with Simón Bolívar, and is one of the heroes of Venezuela's and Colombia's independence. Even though he is Brazilian, and have lived and fought a long time in Brazil, Abreu e Lima became more famous in other coutries of Latin America, where he is considered a hero, than in Brazil.
Read this biography of Abreu e Lima, in Portuguese; also, this other biography, in English, shows that both Abreu e Lima and his father have a place among Brazilian historic characters.
When he died, in 1869, the Catholic Church prohibited his body from being buried in the public cemitery of the town, because of his envolvement in disputes with the Church; Abreu e Lima was then buried in the anglican cemitery.
The political emancipation of Abreu e Lima is celebrated on May 14th.
The city is one of the components of the Metropolitan Region of Recife (MRR). The metropolitan area also comprehends the cities of Recife, Olinda, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Paulista, Igarassu, Itapissuma, Itamaracá, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Ipojuca, Camaragibe, São Lourenço da Mata, Araçoiaba and Moreno.
Many of Abreu e Lima's residents have their jobs in nearby larger cities, such as Recife and Olinda.
The Services sector is the most important in the Metropolitan Recife, attracting consumers from other cities and States; this sectors responds for 76% of the proceeds of the economy.
Economically, the MRR also is driven to the agroindustry, alcohol and sugar production. In the agricultural activities, are emphasized the monopoly of the sugar cane and the cultivation of coconut, banana, yam, manioc, "acerola" and passion fruit.
Notice: in 2005, the governments of Brazil and Venezuela firmed a joint venture to build a large oil refinery. The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, made it a point that the refinery should be called Abreu e Lima.
However, despite the name, the refinery will be constructed in the nearby city of Ipojuca, to take advantage of the infrastructure of the Port of Suape, located in that city.
Culture heritage is one of the biggest attractions of Abreu e Lima. Visitors may listen to the beats of the "maracatu" drums (picture) and dance a fine "ciranda" commanded by D. Odete do Coco.
For those who would like to learn a bit more about these cultural events, a good sugestion is to drop by Abreu e Lima during the "Festa da Emancipação" (Emancipation Celebration), on March 14 yearly, the most popular of the region.
For people who want to have fun and at the same time enjoy the nature, the region has more than 70% of their Atlantic Forest areas still untouched; the city still has ecological reserves, such as the São Bento e Caetés, registered by the Government of Pernambuco as Natural Heritage of the State.
Source: IBGE and Government of the State of Pernambuco
Pictures credits: Government of the State of Pernambuco.