1 - History
The municipal district started to develop and expanded from the Main Church of São José, located in the most charming plazza of an area known as Costa Dourada (Southern Pernambuco and Northern Alagoas coastland), to where many young and adults go everynight, especially on the weekends.
The municipal district is located on the Meridional Atlantic Forest Zone (humid thicket), 123km away from Recife and 13km away from Barreiros, the next city. To the South there is the Persinunga River delimitating the territory as well and being a frontier between Pernambuco and Alagoas State; to the North there is the Una River separating the municipal district from the next city, Barreiros; to the west there is also Barreiros and to the east there is the Atlantic Ocean.
The municipal district territory consists in a 75 km 2 area, corresponding to 0,07% of the territory of Pernambuco State. In 2000 there were 13.971 inhabitants, being 6.934 of those men and 7.037 women. Meanwhile 9.516 inhabitants lived in urban areas, and 4.455 lived in rural areas. There were also 11.227 ellectors and 3.061 houses.4 – Villages
The access to the villages is either through sandy ways, among sugar cain and coconut plantations, or through the Rio Una waterways going towards its estuary. In both cases the landscapes are marvelous and the trip is a little uncommon.
Located on the right side of the Una’s estuary, the geographic coordinates for the village are 08 o50’46’’S and 035 o08’31’’W. Inhabited by around 3.000 people, the village is 8km away from the city’s headqaurters.Abreu do Una Village
Located on the right side of the Una’s estuary, the geographic coordinates for the village are 08 o51’38’’S and 035 o08’19’’W. Inhabited by around 1.500 people, the village in 6km away from the city’s headquarters5 –Sugar Farms
In the district’s territory there are the following sugar farms: Pau Amarelo, Boa Vista, Gindhy, Boca da Mata, Campinas, Mundo Novo, Arassu, Serra d’Água, Queimadas, Manguinhos, Brejão, Morim and Tentugal. These last two deserve special mention for it’s historical and ecological importance for the region. Today, only the Morim, Brejão and Manguinhos Sugar Farms are owened by families. Another family farm is the São Francisco with a 280 ha area located around the sugar farms Queimadas, Arassu and Morim.6 – The Neighbourhoods
The area where São José da Coroa Grande lies on today used to be occupyed by coconut farms, that throughout the time gave place to social housing and also holydayer housing and turistic resorts.
The main economic sources rely on fishing, agriculture, boat construction and repairs, boat deck, hotels, bars and restaurants, small commerce like grocery stores, markets, drugstores, clothes stores and stores for construction material, and also some industries of pre-molded coconut fiber.
The predominant weather is hot and rainy tropical. The average temperature is 24 oC, and the average relative humidity is 75%. The average annual insolation is 3.000 hours.
The district of São José da Coroa Grande was formed during the Cenozoic Era. The Quaternary Period is represented by the littoral stripe where there is soil formed by material brought by the rivers, dunes and sea sediments; while the Pre-Crambrian period is represented by farther west areas of the city where granit forms the soil.10 – Landscape and Sea Formations
The district is located in the mid-region of Pernambuco Forests, and has the coastal plain dominating its landscape. The ground becomes a little more hilly farther west, where the average height is 100m and where the highest point is found on 168m above sea level, located between the Morim and Mundo Novo Sugar Farms.
The ecosystems in the area are peculiar to tropical and coastal regions like salt marshs, mangroves, coral reefs and rain forests.
In the Village of Várzea do Una, between the Una River and the Atlantic Ocean, there is a 2.000m insthmus covered by salt marsh vegetation, with width varying from 20 to 50m. There are two ways to get there: one is by canoes through the estuary and another is to walk through private properties going over a small bridge considering the passing is allowed.
The coastal region of the city has plenty of mangroves and estuaries because it is part of the Una, Persinunga and Meireles water basin.
The coral reefs near the coast are a part of the Reef Coast Ecological Protection Area - the biggest unit of marine preservation in Brazil, with 413.563 ha and considered the most important coral formation of the South Atlantic, with more than 7.000 years of formation, instituted on October 23 rd, 1997.
In the Morim Sugar Mill, a property with a major historical and cultural importance, 6km away from the PE-060 highway, there is a 600 ha preservation area covered especially by Rain Forest vegetation.
13 – Hidrography
The Una River (una=black) is one of the most important in the state of Pernambuco. Its estuary area is considered a Biological Reserve of the state and a State Ecological Protection Area, as well as beeing part o the Reef Coast Ecological Protection Area on a federal level.
The Persinunga River (pará=water, açununga=rumble) is a 20km long river starting from the Benfica sugar farm, in Barreiros, going around the Pau Amarelo sugar farm and catching the Gindahy Creek to go to the Arassu and Queimadas sugar farms. When almost getting to the estuary, the Persinunga River catches the Itabaiana River from Alagoas.Meireles Creek
The Meireles Creek is perenial throughout it’s entire way, starting on the Boca da Mata sugar farm, getting to the Atalantic ocean 20km furhter in the Barra da Cruz beach, going through the sugar farms Morim, Serra d’Água, Tentugal and Manguinhos.
14 - Historical Points and Sites
São José da Coroa Grande (headquarters)
The Main Church in the Constantino Gomes Ferreira Plazza has, besides the main room, a main chapel, an upstairs chorus, porch, bell tower and a two-doors entrance. This church has been remodeled through the years and the excatc date of the construction is not clear.
Today a sugar farm, it is located at about 6km away from the PE-060 highway the building preserves it’s peculiar architectural caracteristics from the golden age of the Sugar Mills, deserving special mention the Owners house and the ruins of the chapel. This Mill has been a property of Estácio de Albuquerque Coimbra, ex-governor of the state of Pernambuco and ex-vice-president of Brazil. The property’s territory is a result from the acquisitons of surrounding land, originating some 1.000 ha constisting on pasture, dams, springs, creeks and an area of rain forest.Tentugal Mill
Today consists in unproductive lands, is located at around 2km away from the PE-060, this is one of the few places where one can appreciate and old railroad station and few typical houses built during the late 19 th century and early 20 th century along with a wonderful Jambo Tree’s Alley.15 – Turistic Attraction
The city has a huge turistical pottencial, counting on many attractions, some of those practically unkown or even intact by the general population.Beaches
The beachs are marvelous. The wave sizes vary from short ones near downtown to really high ones at Várzea do Una beach, good place for surfing.
(*)The Una River is the boundary between Barreiros and São José da Coroa Grande, therefore the Várzea do Una beach is officially in the Barreiro’s territory, but tradicionally it is a São José da Coroa Grande’s beach.Springlet and waterfalls
There are many paradise-like places to enjoy the springlets, waterfalls and creeks, like at the Tentugal Mill stone-pits and the Morim and Serra d’Água Mills’ brooks.Nautical Sports
There are boat-decks like the Mangue Seco, Belo Mar and São José, providing navigation support, place for boats, drinks and snacks and other services like tours to see the coral reef barrier, the Una River, the Porto Island and Beach, Scuba diving and fishing.Surf
The only place around the city propper for surfing is Várzea do Una, where there are local and State Championships.Track
There are many options for wild tracks in the area. Some of the ways are through sugar farms and private properties, but there is no groceryshops or other stores around. The remotion of native species is not allowed, neither bonfires, that can originate fires in the forests. All the trash should be kept or thrown away in propper recipietns.Off Road
Most of the roads that connect the old Mills are not official, therefore could be considered tracks for off-road vehicles. Some options are: Várzea do Una, Queimadas, Tentugal and Morim Mills.
Located on the old road Várzea do Una - Barreiros, among sugar cain plantations, it is 500m away from Várzea do Una’s downtown. It gives tourist a wonderful view of the Una’s estuary and villages from the top of the Pipiri hill.Mangroves
São José da Coroa Grande is located in the Una and Persinunga’s water basins, with the Meireles Creek going through it’s ground. In the estuary areas the mangrove fauna and flora can be closelly observed while short tours during high tide.Museum
The Una Museum, in Várzea do Una, is taken as a reference for historical, cultural and ecological preservation in the region. The inauguration was in 2000 and today it attracts around 2.000 visitors per year to enjoy its 600m 2 area from Friday to Sunday, from 11a.m. to 5p.m.
In Várzea do Una there is the Master Zuza’s shipyard, the biggest and most important primitive shipyard in the Brazilian Northeast region, that can build around 6 different sizes boats per year. As a regional tradition, people who learned the boat construction techniques with Master Zuza own smaller shipyards building and reparing boats for a living and keeping the tradition alive.16 – Parties and Celebrations
The most important parties in the city are religious celebrations as city’s protector saints days and Christmas, along with June festivals and emancipation days.São José Party
It happens on March 19th and it celebrates the protector saint of São Josè da Coroa Grande. On this day there are catholic services for the population and the city government provides amusement parks, sports competitions and shows from various bands and famous artists.São Sebastião Party
It happens on January 20th and it celebrates Várzea do Una’s potector saint, being one of the happiest parties in the litoral of Southern Pernambuco.
It happens on June 24th celebrating the protector saint of Abreu do Una, when the calmness gives place to the huge movement on the main roads.São Pedro Party
It happens on June 29th when the ships and boats from the Z9 fishermen settlement, from São José da Coroa Grande, make a sea procession to glorify the fishermen protector saint. This sea procession goes from the sea cross mark in front of the city main church to the Meirele’s Creek esturay.Carnival
Carnival is the party that attracts the most people to the city. Most of the people, coming from inner state cities, come to enjoy shows from nice bands that play from 10 p.m. until the sun rises. There are many Carnvial parades marching and enjoying the party throughout the streets.
In happens on November and has the purpose of making the coconut culture and traditions known by the general population and turists. There are band shows, open market for regional and typical things, as well as an intersting competition of peeling coconuts and taking coconut out from the trees.Political Emancipation
On April 11th the city celebrates its emancipation with many events, always with the Grand Finale left for band shows.17 – Accomodation
Pousada Voarr : in the Northern beach coast, this Inn has comfortable rooms and suits wih transparent ceiling (sun roof) to enjoy the sunrise with total privacy.
The most known restaurants in the city are: Calamares, Rota dos Corais and Nossa Senhora de Fátima on the PE-060; downtown there is Pizzaiola´s, Peixada do Maurício, Peixada da Júlia and Helena’s Self Service; and on the sea coast there is Atlântico Resaurant.
On Main Street there is an emergency and first aid clinic, as well as maternity for the general population . For more serious cases there are better clinics and hospitals in Barreiros. There are other first aid clinics in the Gameleira Farms, on the Lídio Florentino Street, in the Tentugal Mill and in Várzea do Una and Abreu do Una, working just on weekdays.