Iguape

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Coordinates: 24°42′29″S 47°33′19″W / 24.70806°S 47.55528°W / -24.70806; -47.55528

Iguape
Municipality
The Municipality of
Estância Balneária de Iguape
Iguapesp01.JPG
Flag of Iguape
Flag
Official seal of Iguape
Seal
Location in the state of São Paulo and Brazil
Location in the state of São Paulo and Brazil
Country Brazil
Region Southeast
State São Paulo
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
Area code(s) +55 13
Basílica de Nossa Senhora das Neves e Bom Jesus de Iguape

Iguape is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2004 was 28,367 and the area is 1,985.4 km², making it the largest city by area in São Paulo state. The elevation is 3 m. This place name comes from the Tupi language.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification, Iguape has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) that closely borders the tropical rainforest climate (Af). Summers are warm, humid and rainy, whilst winters are noticeably cooler and somewhat drier, although there is no true dry season. The mean temperature is 21.6 °C (70.9 °F) and the mean annual rainfall is 1,976 mm (77.8 in).

Climate data for Iguape (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.4
(84.9)
29.9
(85.8)
28.7
(83.7)
26.7
(80.1)
24.8
(76.6)
23.2
(73.8)
22.7
(72.9)
23.0
(73.4)
22.9
(73.2)
24.6
(76.3)
26.4
(79.5)
28.2
(82.8)
25.87
(78.58)
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.1
(77.2)
25.5
(77.9)
24.6
(76.3)
22.5
(72.5)
20.1
(68.2)
18.4
(65.1)
17.9
(64.2)
18.6
(65.5)
19.3
(66.7)
20.9
(69.6)
22.6
(72.7)
24.1
(75.4)
21.6
(70.9)
Average low °C (°F) 21.5
(70.7)
21.9
(71.4)
21.1
(70)
18.9
(66)
16.6
(61.9)
14.9
(58.8)
14.3
(57.7)
15.0
(59)
16.2
(61.2)
17.6
(63.7)
19.0
(66.2)
20.4
(68.7)
18.12
(64.61)
Precipitation mm (inches) 243.4
(9.583)
206.5
(8.13)
262.7
(10.343)
183.1
(7.209)
143.5
(5.65)
127.1
(5.004)
104.8
(4.126)
94.4
(3.717)
121.3
(4.776)
145.8
(5.74)
150.8
(5.937)
193.0
(7.598)
1,976.4
(77.813)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 13 12 13 11 10 9 9 9 11 13 12 14 136
 % humidity 82.6 83.1 84.4 84.9 86.1 85.6 85.8 86.1 86.3 84.8 83.1 82.2 84.58
Mean monthly sunshine hours 162.0 143.5 139.3 129.7 140.6 119.9 121.5 100.0 72.3 100.6 126.5 142.7 1,498.6
Source: Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (INMET) [1]

History[edit]

Because of its location, close to the limits established by the Tordesilhas Treaty, the Iguape region was the stage for constant disputes among Portuguese, Spanish, and French pirates who landed there in order to refill their vessels or to trade in their goods. The foundation of Iguape is sometimes attributed to Rui Garcia de Mosquera, a Spanish refugee who established a good relationship with the Tupiniquin Indians.

In another unproved account, in 1498 a Spanish group landed in the region giving the name Iguape to a tiny village, in reference to a local Indian name for a common regional plant. Some years later, a French pirate vessel attacked Iguape and set fire to the village, destroying all official documentation. The veracity of those events is unknown, but there is no doubt that the first years of Iguape's history were strongly influenced by the presence of the Spanish.

With the discovery of gold at the end of the 16th century, Iguape was increasingly visited by adventurers searching for gold along the rivers. In 1635, there already existed the so-called "Casa da Oficina Real", the first money producing institution in Brazil (today Iguape's local museum). The discovery of gold at Serra da Paranapiacaba, in the interior of Vale do Ribeira, intensified the navigation of the Ribeira do Iguape river resulting in the formation of new villages such as Registro, Eldorado Paulista, Iporanga, Jacupiranga and Sete Barras.

Around 1780, the gold cycle had come to an end and many families left the region. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the 18th century the fertile grounds of the Ribeira valley were converted into large rice plantations. The rice, of an excellent quality, was intensively commercialized in Iguape and from there exported to Europe.

From 1820 to 1900, Iguape experienced a period of great prosperity reaching its economic peak. Five rice factories were working day and night, filling on average 10 large vessels per week. Banks were financing the business, six newspapers were circulated in the city, and France maintained a permanent consulate in the city. The population was accustomed to attending shows from Europe.

At that time, Iguape was as important as Rio de Janeiro or Salvador. Consequently the city had no difficulties in obtaining the necessary resources for the construction of one of the biggest and most controversial hydraulic installations on the Brazilian coast: The "Valo Grande" channel.

Aside from rice, other products from the Ribeira valley were transported by boat to a fluvial port at the shore of the Ribeira river close to Iguape and from there, via a terrestrial connection, to the marine harbor where they were loaded into big ships. To facilitate and cheapen transport, Iguape solicited permission from king D. Pedro II in order to open a 4 km long and 2 m wide channel, connecting the fluvial port in the west with the marine port in the east. The request was approved by D. Pedro and after hard work the construction was concluded in 1855.

The construction, meant to improve Iguape's economic conditions, did not account for the fact that the voluminous waters of the river, now with access to a shorter connection to the sea, were flooding away the sandy banks of the river, invading the areas close to the river and threatening the whole region.

With the natural destruction of the port, business turned inviable, resulting in quick economic deterioration of the region. Most people had to leave Iguape, and those who decided to stay experienced serious difficulties surviving by fishing and shrimping, which were significantly reduced in the coastal waters due to the large influx of fresh water.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Climatological Information for Iguape, Brazil". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. Retrieved 29 December 2012.