IMAGES FROM 01/28/2002 to 02/05/2002:

see section on II World Social Forum  



- a street in the Montserrat district, colored by flowering trees (such as yellow cassiás-multijug):   1  2,   3

- Nilo Peçanha Ave. and  surroundings (in the Bela Vista district), colored by flowering trees (such as the yellow canafístulas):    1,   2,   3  4,   5,   6

- flowering of an espatódea on a street in the Montserrat district.  This species of tree (scientific name - Spathodea campanulata) is native to Africa.  It produces red bellflowers also known as tulip-of-Africa.  It exists in other cities throughout Brazil, mainly in Brasília where is was vastly planted:   1

- construction site, doubling the size of the future 3rd Perimeter, a major avenue that will “cut” the city from north to south, “oxygenating” an economically expressive urban land area.  It will have a similar role as that of Avenida Paulista, in the city of São Paulo:   1,   2,   3

- monument in honor of an Indian woman named Obirici, next to the Obirici overpass, in the Passo da Areia district:    1,   2

Many years ago,  the territory where Porto Alegre was constructed was occupied by two Indian tribes, Tapiaçu, which occupied the Santa Tereza hilltop and Tapimirim, which was located on the margins of what is today Gravataí river.

The legend is told that Obirici, the favorite daughter of the chief of the Tapimirim, fell in love and died out of passion for Upatã, the oldest son of the chief of the Tapiaçu tribe.  However, another Indian girl also fell in love with the warrior.  Fortune would therefore be decided in a bow and arrow competition and the winner would marry Upatã.  It is told that because Obirici was very nervous, she missed the mark and so lost her great love and was left to wander through a great sandy plain where today is located the Passo da Areia district.  Tired, she sat under a fig tree and there she stayed for some time crying.  In the midst of the prayers and tears, she raised her hands to heaven and asked the Tupã god to come and take her away.  So this is the way it is told that she died, out of love for Upatã. From the tears, a small creek was formed that trickled through the sand between the hills and valleys, trees and plants.  This is why the Indian women who lose their husbands in wars sought comfort in the "tears of Obirici".

This legend is registered by the writer José Antônio do Vale Caldre e Fião and was recited to him by an old Guarani Indian by the name of Vicente, who had run away from one of the Sete Povos das Missões (Jesuit colonies), soon after the Guaraní War in 1756.  In Porto Alegre, which had recently received its first inhabitants, he lived in the area that is today occupied by the Loureiro da Silva overpass.

The monument in honor of the Indian woman, Obirici, was inaugurated on March 13, 1975 when the mayor at the time, Telmo Thompson Flores, inaugurated the overpass at the crossing of the two avenues—Plinio Brasil Milano and Brasiliano Índio de Moraes.  The monument was modeled by the artist Mário Arjonas and designed by Nelson Boeira Fairich.  (magazine source: Viva no Sul, Ano 3, Novembro de 2000, p. 10-11)

Just as the story of Obirici, the story of the Indian people is also, invariably, very sad.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the fate of the Indians was sealed by the deplorable Guarani War, almost annihilating the existing Indian population in 1756, and dispersed the rest.  Originally, the population native to Rio Grande do Sul was formed by five Indian nations: charruas, minuanos, patos, tapes, and guaycanans.  The largest influence upon the habits and values of the gaúchos came from the charruas and minuanos, who were the most savage and of war.  They lived in the region that is today the State of Rio Grande do Sul and part of the State of Santa Catarina, which was for many years an area in dispute between Spain and Portugal.

With the Treaty of Tordesilhas, made between Portugal and Spain in 1494 (soon after the discover of the Americas by Christopher Columbus), Portugal would be the owners of all the lands discovered east of the meridian situated 370 leagues to the west of the Cabo Verde archipelago.  To put it in today’s terms, there was an imaginary line linking the cities of Belém in Pará and Laguna in Santa Catarina.  The Treaty remained valid until 1750 when the Treaty of Madrid took its place based on the principle that the land would belong to whoever occupied it.

As expected, the Spanish came to occupy their territories and soon founded cities such as Buenos Aires and Asuncion, in 1536.  They also founded, with the help of the Jesuits, several villages in the Uruguay River basin.  On the east side, the Jesuits founded colonies such as São Miguel (the first one, in 1627), São João, São Lourenço, São Luiz, São Nicolau, São Borja, and Santo Ângelo (the last, in 1707).  However, venturous men from the state of São Paulo were constantly terrorizing any initiative of populating or colonizing lands, which made Spanish expansion in that area enormously difficult.  On the other hand, the adventurers of Portuguese frontiersmen, seeking for cattle and Indians to be hauled away, encouraged the Portuguese Crown to dominate the region in a more definitive way.  That is why, in 1680, Portugal decided to put up a fortification called Colônia do Sacramento, right across from Buenos Aires, in order to attest to its dominion over the territories east of Rio da Prata.  The Colony was devastated in the same year.  However, through negotiations, it was taken over again in 1683.  It was taken over again by the Spanish in 1703 and gained back again (due to the Utrecht Treaty) in 1716.  With the control of Montevideo by the governor of Buenos Aires, Colônia do Sacramento became surrounded and so it was abandoned by the Portuguese in 1736 when they retreated until Rio Grande, where they founded, in 1737, the Garrison of Jesus Maria José (under the command of Brigadeiro José da Silva Paes).

The Treaty of Madrid intended to resolve the conflicts of land between Portugal and Spain.  They would exchange Sete Povos das Missões (which would stay under Portuguese rule) for Colônia do Sacramento (which would stay under Spanish rule).  According to the Treaty, the Indians were to get off the land with their belongings and go to the other side of the Uruguay River.  However, these determinations caused great revolt among the Indian people who rebelled against the signers of the Treaty (Portugal and Spain).  This is why they began to fight against the Portuguese and Spanish armies (Guarani War).  After small skirmishes, the leader, Sepé Tiaraju, died and then they were severely defeated at the Caiboaté battle, in 1756.  In this combat, more than 1,200 Indian warriors died, including the new chief, Nicolau Languiru.

Defeated in combat and persecuted in their own trenches, they abandoned their lands and took refuge in the forests and hills.

- the area of the old estância de criar (cattle ranch), occupied by the first sesmeiro (receiver of lands from the royal crown) and founder of Porto Alegre, Jerônimo de Ornelas, in 1732:  1

Jerônimo de Ornelas was born in 1690, on the Madeira Island.  The Sesmaria de Santana had around 14,000 hectares.  In 1752, the couples from Azores established themselves "temporarily" on the point of the peninsula (what is today the "Ponta do Gasômetro"), and because of  some misunderstanding with them he changed location.  He, therefore, bought another piece of land close to the Triunfo parish and five years later another one between the rivers Sinos and Caí, which originated what is today the municipality of Capela de Santana.  Jerônemo de Ornelas died in 1771 at the Triunfo parish, and from this family line descended various illustrious gaúcho families, such as Gonçalves, Gomes Jardim, Guimarães and others.

- old "road to Viamão", that was recently redone:   1

- Passo da Areia housing district or "Vila do IAPI":   12

IAPI was the first residential housing development in the country.  Its construction was sponsored by the Instituto de Aposentadorias e Pensões dos Industriários – IAPI (Institute of Retirement and Pension Funds of the Industry workers), and designed by the Engineer Edmundo Gardolinski.  It was planned to have 2,500 homes, 31 commercial stores, 1 area for a public market, 11 squares and gardens, milk distribution points, and other services and resources.  It was inaugurated in 1953 by the President Getúlio Vargas.  The streets have a peculiar characteristic—they are curvilinear, without having discontinuities in sight.

In this development, was born one of the greatest myths of Brazilian popular music, who died 20 years ago on January 19, 1982—Elis Regina Carvalho Costa.  She was the author of top hits during the golden years of the

"bossa nova" movement, such as Madalena; Romaria; Alô, Alô, Marciano; Arrastão; O Bêbado e a Equilibrista; and Águas de Março.  She left behind many fans throughout all of Brazil who remember her until today and replay the songs of this gaúcha singer (also endearingly called "espoletinha"), who "hissed words with s and rolled words with r".  She ended her life when she was only 36 years old.  (source: newspaper Zero Hora, Segundo Caderno, 19/01/2002)

 – buildings of the Campus of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), where the II World Social Forum  will take place:   1, 2, 3



- a walk through the Praça ou Largo dos Açorianos, where the monument honors the 60 couples from Azores who came from the Azores Island 250 years ago (in 1752) in order to populate the region of the Missões in RS and make sure that the agreements in the Treaty of Madrid were kept, celebrated in 1750.   It was in this area with a peninsula format, where today situates the center of the city of Porto Alegre, that they set up camp in order to await the best time for going up the Jacuí river (the Indian population had rebelled against the terms of the Treaty of Madrid, beginning the Guarani War during which they were practically annihilated in 1756).  At the time, this area was considered public because it was within the strip of ¼ of a league (1,650 meters) along navigable rivers (Gravataí, Sinos, Caí, and Jacuí).  They waited so much that they ended up staying and the place began to be called “the Port of the Couples”.  Some years later, on March 26, 1772, the agglomeration progressed to a condition of “chapel with a Vicar” because of a permanent parson appointed there (and this became the date considered as the founding of Porto Alegre).  In 1763, the capital for the province of São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul had to be moved to Viamão, because of the Spanish taking control of the city of Rio Grande (who also began to regret the terms of the Treaty of Madrid).  After another 10 years, the capital was moved again from Viamão to Porto Alegre because it was strategically better situated.  From this peninsula (“in the form of a theater”) is was possible to reach and garnish more easily the south and west of the State (central region of the Missões), by the rivers and navigable lakes that bordered the city:   12,  34, 5,  6, 7,  8

- walk through the Parque Harmonia, where the “Youth Camp” will take place during the II World Social Forum:   12,  3

- flowering canafístulas, which during this time of year mark their presence with innumerous yellow marks:   12,  34, 5

- flowering of a cássia-multijuga, which helps to color the city yellow during this time of year:   1

- restoration of the old Provisionary Governor’s Palace and Coach-house, known by most as the “Fort Apache”.  Its construction began in 1857 during the construction of the Piratini Palace (today’s headquarters for the State Government) between 1896 and 1921,  it constituted the Provisionary Governor’s Palace.  In 1906, coach-houses were built on, and this is the reason why it became known by the name "Coach-house Building".  In 1982 it was designated as Protected Historical Patrimony of the State, and in 1998 was transferred to the control of the Public Powers (Executive, Legislative, Judicial), which today occupy this expressive building:   1

JANUARY 13TH, 2002: 


- “Tree of Peace” without its green cover. “In the name of peace” many portoalegrenses would like that the structure remained there (it was built temporarily for Christmas time):    1

-         blooming tree known by the name of cássia-multijuga located at Moinhos de Vento Park; its scientific name is Senna multijuga. It is exquisite and originated from India. It has a sinuous stem and a canopy with low and pending branches:   1

- new hotel (Parthenon Manhattan Porto Alegre), located in Moinhos de Vento neighborhood. Porto Alegre is inaugurating more than 20 new hotels, mainly along Independência, Carlos Gomes and Borges de Medeiros.  Moinhos de Vento neighborhood is one of the richest neighborhoods in the city together with Bela Vista, Montserrat, Chácara das Pedras and Assunção. In this neighborhood it was recently inaugurated the best hotel of the city (a unit from Sheraton net):   1  

- Praça Júlio de Castilhos, at the highest part of  Moinhos de Vento. There it can be highlighted some kinds of trees as a palm tree named ‘Palm from Canaries” and a quaresmeira (second picture):     1,   2

- very calm streets as Fernando Gomes and Padre Chagas, in Moinhos de Vento. At this time of the year, many portoalegrenses are on vacation on beaches at the north coast of RS (in cities as Tramandaí, Torres, Capão da Canoa and others):    1,   2,   3

- gardens of  Hidráulica Moinhos de Vento, that has been built during the mayor Loureiro da Silva mandate; its installations are being restored and when the works are finished they may become an important  touristic spot of the city:   1,   2,   3  4,   5,   6

- Hotel Sheraton and Moinhos de Vento shopping center (front images and surroundings ): 1,   2,   3  4,   5,   6

JANUARY 12TH, 2002: 


- tree known by the name “gold rain" (or "golden grapes”)  located on the sidewalk of a street at Bom Fim Alto, that belongs to the municipality of Bom Princípio-RS, that was recently classified by  IBGE as one of the 10 municipalities in Brazil with the highest literacy rates (98% of the population above 10 years old):    1,   2,   3

JANUARY 11TH, 2002: 


-         happy young people who have passed in the vestibular. Porto Alegre has two big universities: PUCRS and UFRGS; and in the metropolitan area there are located two more: ULBRA and UNISINOS. In Brazil, there are 2.6 millions of undergraduate students  (1.53% of the population) ; in RS, 195 thousand (1.95% of the population ), being 43 thousand (22%) In public universities and 78% in private and communitarian universities (and colleges). In Porto Alegre, there are 85.2 thousand  (43.7% of the total amount). The “trick” made by the senior students on the freshmen or among the freshmen, is a kind of ritual (or baptism). It means that those students are becoming a part of a new organizational group: the universitaries. Thus this passage generates a great happiness that is publicly shown around the streets of the city and is manifested on the streets, windows, etc. During this period it is common to see some banner parades congratulating the youth for their approval : 1

-         tree popularly known as canafístula, in its blooming period. This tree is native from this southern region of Brazil and it is featured by its straight stem and a high canopy: 1 

JANUARY 5TH, 2002: 


-         images of the shuttle microbus number 350, line Santana, kidnapped in the previous day morning ( a Friday) by a Young man (cook assistant), who asked for R$ 500 thousand and an helicopter to escape for the freedom of 8 people who were held as hostages. The predicament has finished after 27 hours of negotiations (due to his exhaustion, the young men has surrendered to the security authorities of the State). The fact has been worldly reported. The vehicle will not be used anymore for the transportation of passengers. The "táxis-lotação" are a mix of conventional taxis and urban bus: 1


Translated by Traduzca