Pará

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State of Pará
State
Flag of State of Pará
Flag
Coat of arms of State of Pará
Coat of arms
Location of State of Pará in Brazil
Location of State of Pará in Brazil
Coordinates: 5°40′S 52°44′W / 5.667°S 52.733°W / -5.667; -52.733Coordinates: 5°40′S 52°44′W / 5.667°S 52.733°W / -5.667; -52.733
Country  Brazil
Capital and Largest City Belém
Government
 • Governor Simão Jatene
 • Vice Governor Helenilson Pontes
Area
 • Total 1,247,689.5 km2 (481,735.6 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 7,792,561
 • Rank 9th
 • Density 6.2/km2 (16/sq mi)
 • Density rank 21st
Demonym Paraense
GDP
 • Year 2006 estimate
 • Total R$ 44,376,000,000 (13th)
 • Per capita R$ 6,241 (22nd)
HDI
 • Year 2010
 • Category 0.646 – medium (24th)
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
Postal Code 66000-000 to 68890-000
ISO 3166 code BR-PA
Website pa.gov.br

Pará (Portuguese pronunciation: [paˈɾa]) is a state in northern Brazil. It borders the Brazilian states of (clockwise from north) Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Roraima. To the northwest it also borders Guyana and Suriname, and to the northeast it borders the Atlantic Ocean. The capital and largest city is Belém, the 11th most populous city in the country.

Pará is the most populous state of the northern region with a population of over 7.5 million, being the ninth most populous state in Brazil.[2] It is the second largest state of Brazil in area, with 1,2 million km², second only to Amazonas. Its most famous icons are the Amazon River and the Amazon Rainforest. Pará produces rubber (extracted from natural rubber tree groves), tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, and minerals such as iron ore and bauxite.

Every October, Belém receives tens of thousands of tourists for the year's most important religious celebration, the procession of the Círio de Nazaré. Another important attraction of the capital is the Marajó-style ceramics, based on pottery from the extinct Marajó indigenous culture, whose designs have gained considerable international fame.

History[edit]

The Portuguese colonization in Pará State first occurred in 1616, with the foundation of Presépio Fortress – today, Castle Fortress – at Guajará bay, which originated the city of Belém. Before that, the region had been invaded many times by the Dutch and the English, seeking pepper; guaraná, a tree from which a powder is produced and used as a stimulant; and annato seeds, a fruit used for cooking, as a sunscreen and also for the extraction of dye.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

A tropical rainforest climate is a type of tropical climate in which there is no dry season – all months have mean precipitation values of at least 60 millimetres (2.4 in). It is usually found at latitudes within five degrees of the equator – which are dominated by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The equatorial climate is denoted Af in the Köppen climate classification.

Vegetation[edit]

Vitória Régia, in Paraense Emílio Goeldi Museum in Belém.

The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tracts of tropical rainforest in the world. Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome, and tropical forests in the Americas are consistently more species rich than the wet forests in Africa and Asia.[3] As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the Americas, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity. More than one-third of all species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest[4] The largest biodiversity of the planet is present across the state of Amazonas.

Large tracts of Pará state suffer from illegal deforestation and land occupation, mostly due to cattle ranching and soya farming. There have been conflicts between government, indigenous tribes and ranchers over land rights and the situation is unlikely to be resolved soon, particularly due to the demand for beef from Europe and soya from China. The controversial Belo Monte Dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam complex on the Xingu River which threatens a relatively undisturbed area of Pará's rainforest, including several endemic fish species. It also is likely to attract further development and migration to the state, to the detriment of the state's rainforest.

Political subdivisions[edit]

The largest cities by population (2010) are:

Demographics[edit]

Assurini Indians lived in isolation until 1971.

Pará has had Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese immigrants. These people have told their trajectories in a permanent space, the "Room Vicente Salles" of the "Memorial of the People", located in Belém. The Portuguese were followed by Spaniards who arrived in the capital almost exclusively thanks to political disputes in the Iberian Peninsula. The Japanese established themselves within agrarian, settling in towns such as Tomé-Açu. The majority of the population is mixed, due to the large indigenous gene pool and, to a lesser amount, African ancestry.

According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 7,136,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 5.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (15/sq mi). Urbanization: 75.2% (2006); Population growth: 2.5% (1991–2000); Houses: 1,754,000 (2006).[5]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 4,988,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (69.9%), 1,641,000 White people (23.0%), 470,000 Black people (6.6%), 35,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.5%).[6]

Immigrants[edit]

Portuguese[edit]

The presence of the Portuguese in the state occurred in the 17th century. In January 1616, the Portuguese captain, Francisco Caldeira Castelo Branco began the occupation of the land, founding the Fort of the Nativity, nucleus of the future state capital. Fixation was achieved with Portuguese religious missions and banners, linking the crib to the Fort St. Louis of Maranhão, by land and sailed up the Amazon River. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in Pará, leaving contributions ranging from cuisine to architecture.

Japanese[edit]

The first Japanese immigrants who settled in the Amazon left the Port of Kobe in Japan, on July 24, 1926, and reached the city of Tomé-Açu, on 22 September of that year, with stops in Rio de January and Belém.

The Japanese were responsible for the introduction of crops such as jute and black pepper in the 1930s; and Hawaiian papaya and melon in the 1970s. The third largest Japanese community in Brazil is located in Pará, with about 13,000 inhabitants, surpassed only by the states of São Paulo and Paraná. They live mainly in the cities of Tomé-Açu, Santa Izabel do Pará and Castanhal. Tomé-Açu was the first place in Northern Brazil to receive Japanese immigrants, circa 1929.

Italian[edit]

Italian emigrants who have come to Pará are predominantly from the South of Italy, originating in Calabria, Campania and Basilicata. They were all settlers and devoted to trade. The first Italian trade that we know of is 1888 which was in Santarém.

They planted family roots in Belém, Breves, Abaetetuba, Óbidos, Oriximiná, Santarém and Alenquer. The presence in western Pará was so pronounced that there was a representation of the Consulate of Italy in Óbidos, considered the largest city populated by Italians in the state. The consulate was in Recife, Pernambuco.

In Belém, the Italians were divided between commercial activity and retail services. While they worked, were important at the beginning of the industrialization process of the capital (1895). According to the 1920 census, there were about a thousand Italians in Pará. At the end of World War II, there was a flow caused by the persecution of Germans, Japanese and Italians. Italians, like the French, did not remain in the territory of Pará.

Lebanese[edit]

The emigration of Lebanese took to Para in the mid-nineteenth century, at the time of Rubber Cycle until 1914 and arrived in Bethlehem between 15 000 and 25 000 immigrants Syrian-Lebanese, of whom one-third went to Acre . In Pará, besides the state capital, the Lebanese have moved to the cities of Cametá, Marabá, Altamira, Breves, Monte Alegre, Alenquer, Santarém, Óbidos, Soure, Maracanã, Abaetetuba, among others.

French[edit]

The first French immigrants arrived in Brazil in the second half of the nineteenth century, went to the colony of Benevides, the metropolitan region of Belém do Pará. The French were attracted to the region because of the Rubber Cycle, eventually settling in Belém, becoming known as the Paris N'América.

Economy[edit]

The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 40.9%, followed by the industrial sector at 36.3%. Agriculture represents 22.8% of GDP (2004). Pará exports: iron ore 31.1%, aluminium 22.2%, wood 13.5%, ores of aluminium 8.3%, others ores 7.9% (2002), representing 1.8% of the Brazilian economy (2005).

The mining sector represents 14% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State, originated mainly from the extraction of iron, bauxite, manganese, limestone and tin, as well as gold, until recently extracted from one of the largest mines of recent history: Serra Pelada. The economy of Pará is based also on the extraction of vegetation, on agriculture and cattle raising; thanks to the rich soil and the important hydrographic basin – boats are the main means of transport in the region. Guaraná, a tree from which a powder is produced and used as a stimulant; and annato seeds, a fruit used for cooking, as a sunscreen and also for dye extraction. Marajó – the biggest fluvial-maritime island in the world, with an area of 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi). Its territory has one of the largest mining areas in the country, located in the Carajás Mountains, a mining province where the Ferro Carajás Project is based, from Companhia Vale do Rio Doce. The complex produced 296 million metric tons of iron ore in 2007,[7] exporting the product to many countries, among them Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

According to the website for the state's investment promotion agency; Invest Para,[8] the state of Para is expecting US $50 billion in public and private investments into the local economy from 2010-2014. With agribusiness, cosmetics, mining and tourism as the sectors with highest investment potential as they receive special benefits from the state government.

Education[edit]

Belém is the most important educational centre of the state.

Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. English and Spanish are also part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions[edit]

Culture[edit]

Theatre[edit]

  • Theatre of Peace;
  • Experimental Waldemar Henrique theatre;
  • Gabriel Hermes theatre;
  • Theatre of SESC;
  • Theatre of Emílio Goeldi Museum;
  • Margarida Schiwazzapa theatre;
  • Maria Sylvia Nunes theatre;
  • Gasômetro station theatre.

Círio de Nazaré[edit]

Cathedral of Sé in Belém.

The biggest festival in the state of Pará happens there, Círio de Nazaré (Nazareth Taper). This event is known to be the biggest religious event of the Western Hemisphere. The procession starts on the second Sunday of October and pays homage to Our Lady of Nazareth, patron saint of the State. Organised since 1793, at present it gathers around 2.3 million of followers, who go on a procession through the city on a huge suite to the Nazaré Basilica, where the image is worshiped.

Indigenous communities[edit]

Besides all the natural wealth, the State of Pará also shelters a valuable cultural treasure, about 40 indigenous groups, scattered through an area of over 23 million hectares (57×10^6 acres). Of these, more than eight million have been delimited by FUNAI (National Foundation of Indians), ensuring security and preservation of that space. Among the biggest indigenous communities there are the Andira Marau, Munduruku and the Kayapó.

Infrastructure[edit]

International Airport[edit]

Belém International Airport (BEL) is 10 km from the center of Belem. Currently it serves demand of 2.7 million passengers a year, in a constructed area of 33,255.17 square meters (357,955.7 sq ft). Traditionally called Val-de-Cães Airport, it is responsible for increasing tourism in the region, as well as for the outflow of products and attracting new investments.

Port[edit]

Port of Belém has restaurants, art galleries, a small brewery, ice-cream shops, artisan stands, regional food kiosks, coffee houses, a space for fairs and events, a theatre for 400 spectators and a touristic harbour.

Sports[edit]

Belém provides visitors and residents with various sport activities. The Mangueirão stadium architectural project is from August 1969. In 2002, 24 years after its inauguration, Mangueirão was reinaugurated as an Olympic stadium of Pará. The visiting capacity of the stadium is at around 45,000.

  • Stadiums
  • Olympic stadium of Pará;
  • Evandro Almeida stadium;
  • Jader Barbalho stadium;
  • Leônidas Castro stadium;
  • and many others.

Flag[edit]

The white stripe in the Flag of Pará represents the zodiac, the Equator and the Amazon River. The blue star is Spica in the constellation Virgo, which is also depicted on the Flag of Brazil representing the state. The two red areas symbolize the vigor of the local people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/estimativa2009/POP2009_DOU.pdf
  3. ^ Turner, I.M. 2001. The ecology of trees in the tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-80183-4
  4. ^ Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Plants, Amazon River Animals
  5. ^ Source: PNAD.
  6. ^ Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2007 (PDF) (in Portuguese). Pará, Brazil: IBGE. 2007. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  7. ^ Carajas Mine, Brazil
  8. ^ Why Para?

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]