Santa Maria, Cape Verde

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Santa Maria
Settlement
Typical street in Santa Maria
Typical street in Santa Maria
Santa Maria is located in Cape Verde
Santa Maria
Santa Maria
Coordinates: 16°35′56″N 22°54′14″W / 16.599°N 22.904°W / 16.599; -22.904Coordinates: 16°35′56″N 22°54′14″W / 16.599°N 22.904°W / 16.599; -22.904
Country Cape Verde
Island Sal
Municipality Sal
Civil parish Nossa Senhora das Dores
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 6,258

Santa Maria (Portuguese for Saint Mary) is situated in the southern part of the island municipality of Sal, Cape Verde which has recently became a fishing and touristic city. Santa Maria is located about 16 km south of the Amílcar Cabral International Airport, and 20 km south of the island capital Espargos. Until 2007, its geography only parts are composed of small barren grasslands surrounding the town and Ponta de Leme Velho, sand dunes with saline marshes dominated the rest of the area. The duneless part of Sal is more than 2 km northwest. The length of the portion of the island around the city for 4 km is no longer than about 3.5 km.

About the city[edit]

The church of Nossa Senhora das Dores is located in town and serves as the seat of the parish. The main square is named Marcelo Leitão. Rua Amílcar Cabral is its main street.

It has two points, Ponta do Sinó in the southwest which is also the island's southernmost point with its own lighthouse and the in the southeast side known as Ponta Preta do Sul. Around its shores, sharks and sea turtles are found. Around a kilometer north of the center is the Santa Maria Saltpans, tracks are in grid plan running 75 degrees towards the east, it is also a protected countryside[2] Further north, made in the late 2000s, is the solar electricity generating station and serves the whole island, since the early 2010s, it is the only source of electricity on the island.

Beach in Santa Maria

The only foreign consulate in Santa Maria is the French consulate of the island of Sal.

It is the city where the island's newspaper Oceanpress has its offices.

Subdivisions[edit]

Some of its subdivisions are:

  • Algodeiro
  • Antiga Porto
  • City center
  • Cabocan
  • Ponta Preta
  • Ponta do Sinó
Hotel Garupa, one of several villas in the west of Santa Maria

History[edit]

Santa Maria was founded in 1835 for the production of sea salt, in its early years, 30,000 tons of salt were shipped from Santa Maria.[3] Most of the product was exported to Brazil, which was halted in 1887 when Brazil imposed a high tax on imported salt to protect its own salt production. The town went into a deep decline, only to recover in 1920 when Portuguese and French investors resumed salt production, one of them J.A. Nascimento and the companies the Cape Verdean Salt Company (Compagnie Salines du Cap-Vert) and the Societé Salins Sal (SSS).[3] During that time, a lighthouse was built in 1892 at Ponta do Sinó. In the 1890s, magnesium was the second most produced product on the island which lasted to 1907. In 1920, Companhia do Fomento de Cabo Verde which made up a large part of the ownership of the city's port was shortly dissolved. In 1927, salt started to be exported to the Belgian Congo which remained until the nation became independent as Congo-Kinshasa in 1961 and nationalized its salt production. On 20 April 1935, Santa Maria was elevated from a village to a town.[4] In 1967, Belgian Georges Vynckier opened Cape Verde's first resort hotel named Morabeza. Salt production started to fell and further production lasted until 1984.[3] After independence in 1977, Espargos replaced Santa Maria as the capital of the island.[5] Starting in the 1990s, tourism become an important industry on the island, causing it to grow in 2004, and stretch up to about 4 km along the west shore. Many resorts and hotels, including the Riu hotels resorts Riu Garopa and Riu Funana, both of which include restaurants, are situated near Santa Maria. The Senegalese began to form a small majority. Foreigners began to spend their vacation at the villas during the peak months of tourism. In 2013, 40% of the country's available beds were in Santa Maria.[6] The addition of hotels and villas began to slow in 2014 and planned streets and buildings remained in the northern part. The economic crisis in most of southern Europe lowered overall tourism, most likely causing the slow down in the expansion of the tourism industry. The town once served ferry routes with Boa Vista.

On April 7, Santa Maria planned to become a seat of its own municipality, mostly due to the massive population growth, Nossa Senhora dos Dores will not exclude Espargos and Palmeira, no date has been set.[7] This new municipality would include Santa Maria and Murdeira. In recent years, Santa Mara was elevated from a fishing and salt town to a city.

View of Santa Maria and the surrounding area
View of Santa Maria Beach along with Monte Leão and the island's tallest mountain

Historical population[edit]

Year Population
1990 (Census) 1,343
2000 (Census) about 2,500
2010 (Census)[8] 6,258

Points of interests[edit]

The city's main square is named Marcelo Leitão. Its main streets are Amílcar Cabral, 1 de Maio, 15 de Augusto and Hotelares.

Climate[edit]

Santa Maria has a desert like climate. The highest temperature is in August with 28C and its lowest is in January with 22C. Annual rainfall is 286 mm, the wettest is 137 mm in September and the driest are nothing from the months of March to June. Its total average of rainy days is only three. Water temperature ranges from 23 in winter months to 26 in summer and fall months. Humidity ranges from 70% in January, 75% during the summer months and in October to 77% in September.

Climate data for Santa Maria
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22
(71)
21
(69)
23
(73)
23
(74)
25
(77)
26
(79)
27
(81)
28
(83)
29
(85)
28
(83)
26
(79)
24
(76)
23
(73)
Average low °C (°F) 16
(61)
15
(59)
17
(62)
18
(64)
19
(67)
22
(72)
23
(74)
23
(74)
24
(76)
22
(72)
19
(67)
18
(64)
16
(60)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 8
(0.3)
5
(0.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
28
(1.1)
61
(2.4)
137
(5.4)
25
(1.0)
5
(0.2)
8
(0.3)
386
(15.2)
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3
Average relative humidity (%) 70 71 71 71 73 75 75 75 77 75 73 71 73.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 182.9 235.6 201.5 216 204.6 174 148.8 161.2 180 198.4 189 155 2,247
Source #1: Weatherbase[9]
Source #2: Wetterkontor[10]

Panoramics[edit]

Panoramics include the southern portion of the island including Monte Leão and the mountains of the east of the island. Boa Vista can rarely be seen.

Sports[edit]

Its football (soccer) club includes the island's oldest, SC Santa Maria and GD Palmeira, since the early 2010s, all plays in the honomymous municipal stadium (common name: Djidjuca) located northwest of the island. Recently new clubs, at a lesser level based in Santa Maria are ASGUI and Florença, who first played their competition in 2015.

Diving, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are popular on its beaches. Santa Maria and Sal Rei are the most dominant locations for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing in the nation.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2010 Census results". Instituto Nacional de Estatística Cabo Verde (in Portuguese). 17 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Áreas protegidas, Cabo Verde (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ a b c "Sal History". University of Massachusetts. 
  4. ^ "Santa Maria faz 70 anos". A Semana (in Portuguese). 1 April 2005. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  5. ^ de Pina, Constânça, "De povoação à vila e… à cidade" A Semana (in Portuguese), 24 November 2000, p. 16-17
  6. ^ "INE Estatísticas do Turismo 2013" [INE Tourism Statistics of 2013] (PDF) (in Portuguese). 
  7. ^ "April 7, 2014 Article". A Semana (in Portuguese). Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census results Sal". Instituto Nacional de Estatística Cabo Verde (in Portuguese). 19 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Santa Maria, Cape Verde". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  10. ^ "Temperatures of Santa Maria". wetterkontor.de. 

External links[edit]