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Juréia - Itatins

History

Brazil Travel / History – Numerous ruins of old rice mills at Juréia - Itatins, formerly operated through African slave labour, testify the rice culture and the related first settlements (today known as Palhal, Pimenteira, Descalvado and Pogoçá) along the flood plain of the Una do Prelado river during the first half of the 19th century. At this time, Iguape was the largest rice producer in Brazil.

The so-called "Trail of the Emperor", which already in the 16th century connected the villages of São Vicente with Iguape and Cananéia was utilized during the second half of the 19th century for the construction of the countries first telegraph line.

Part of this trail, the one that crosses the ecological station, is walked once a year (August) by the romeros pilgrims during the traditional celebration of the Senhor Bom Jesus de Iguape feast.

During the second half of the 20th century, agricultural activity was continuously substituted by caixeta and palm heart (palmito) exploitation. The caixeta (or caxeta) is a small swamp forest tree that provides a suitable soft-wood for the pencil industry. At that time, private enterprises such as Johann Faber bought large areas along the Una do Prelado river. Unfortunately the caxeta tree is also a favourite nesting place of the red - tailed Amazon.

Fortunately, the planned construction of a nuclear power plant during the 80's could be stopped due to protests of a number of environmental organizations. Instead, the Estação Ecológica Juréia - Itatins was created – Brazil Tours / Culture.

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