Moreno - Pernambuco
« Cities of Pernambuco
Population: 49.205 inhabitants
Area: 196 km2
Distance from the capital: 28 km
Accesses: BR-232 e PE-07. Visit maps of Recife and Pernambuco.
The origin of Moreno dates back to 1616, when the Portuguese Baltazar Gonçalves Moreno acquired large areas to produce sugar cane; the name of the city is a tribute to Baltazar.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the textile industry Societé Cotoniere Belge Bresiliene (Brazilian-Belgium Society for Cotton), established in Moreno; the then small village experienced a quick growth, and gained autonomy by force of law Law 1.931 of September 11th 1928. The settlement and growth of Moreno is closely related to the industries of sugar and fabric, and this reflects in the Historic, cultural and human aspects of the city.
Moreno preserved many of the historic buildings.
At one time, there were 39 engenhos (rustic sugar mills) in the area around the city; these engenhos tell the History of ascension and fall of the sugar industry in Pernambuco. The largest engenho is the Casarão do Engenho Moreno (Mansion of Moreno Mill), which belonged to Moreno, the founder of the city; in 1859, Emperor D. Pedro II was a guest at this place. Some engenhos are still in operation (of course, with modern technology); while in the past the only product of engenhos was the white sugar sent to Europe to replace the brown beet sugar, today most mills are focused on the production of alcohol (etanol), used as fuel in Brazilian vehicles.
Other buildings in Moreno are reminiscences of the industrial period, when the cotton thrived; such buildings include the Vila Operária (Worker's Village, a small city built exclusively for the people who worked at the company), the Estação Ferroviária (Railway Station, used to export the cotton and fabric production), the Mercado Público (Public Market) and the Prefeitura (City Hall).
The city of Moreno is formed by the head district and by the village of Bonança.
The economy of Moreno thrived in the past based on sugar and cotton indutries. Nowadays, the most relevant sectors of the economy are cattle raising and vegetable cultivation; Moreno is only 28 km distant from Recife, and is one important supplier of beef, milk and fresh vegetables to Recife and metropolitan area. In the agriculture, the main cultures are of sugar cane, coconut, banana, manyoc, acerola and passion fruit.
Moreno is also trying to increase the share of tourism in the economic activity. Moreno takes advantage of the proximity with Recife and the abundance of green area to promote outdoor activities like farm hotels, horse ridings, water parks.
Besides Moreno, the Metropolitan Region of Recife comprehends also the cities of Recife, Olinda, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Abreu e Lima, Paulista, Igarassu, Itapissuma, Itamaracá, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Ipojuca, Camaragibe, São Lourenço da Mata and Araçoiaba. The total area of the metropolitan region is of 2.766 km², occupying 2,82% of the State of Pernambuco.
The golden times of the sugar cane are carved in the History and scenery of the city of Moreno. Both the plantations of cane and the cane processing mills are still present in the life of the city.
There are in the city five ecological reserves, the largest of which is listed as part of the Nature Heritage of the State.
The main events of Moreno, however, are the festivals organized by the city. People from all over Pernambuco attend the Morenata, the off-season carnival of Moreno. Some of the typical rythms of Pernambuco, such as the frevo and the maracatu, are still preserved by the people of Moreno.
During São João, it's time for the forró to gain space in the city, with an event called Forroreno (Forró in Moreno), which happens happens on the Palhoção Espaço Cultural Zazarte Gomes. Like in all the State during the period, people enjoy typical food, wear typical costumes and dance to typical music.
From November 30th to December 8th, Moreno celebrates the Festa de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Feast of Our Lady of Conception). The event is celebrated with masses, fireworks, pilgrimages and preaches in the Igreja Matriz (Head Church).
Source: IBGE and Government of the State of Pernambuco
Credits of photos: Government of the State of Pernambuco.