Opening of Shopping Total

Customers in Porto Alegre now have one more alternative for shopping, gastronomy and leisure. The Shopping Total, located on Cristóvão Colombo Avenue, has been inaugurated. It is a result of an investment of R$ 45 million started in July 2002, and its motto is “Tem Desconto e Muito Mais” (There is Discount and Much More). The enterprise will carry on several marketing campaigns and price reductions. Porto Shop S/A is the organisation who has invested in this enterprise.

Overall, 2,500 jobs have been created in the construction works. The shopping mall will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. At first, three buildings are open: building 7, with 437 shops and four floors, two of them as a parking lot; building 6, with two floors, where the food place is located; and building 4, the Continental Bingo. The place includes a harmonious set of seven blocks and the traditional chimney, integrating the new design with the old architecture from the beginning of last century, represented by four restored buildings that used to be part of the former Brahma brewery. The terrain has 54,000 square metres, but the built area occupies 63,000 square metres – from which 42,000 square metres are new areas.

At the food place, 14 bars and restaurants serve the public. In the service area, 21 outlets will work. The four restored buildings will later receive 107 shops. In the space reserved to leisure and entertaining, five cinemas stand out. Five restaurants are open in the shopping centre. The parking lot offers 1,734 fixed spaces. They correspond to 7,200 spaces on a revolving basis. At first, parking will be free, at least in the first 90 or 120 days. All this infrastructure is served by seven lifts, two escalators and a sophisticated fire prevention system.

Among the largest outlets at the Total, there are the Zaffari Supermarket – which is expected to open in September -, the microbrewery Brauhaus, Rebook’s Megastore, Empo, Panvel, McDonald’s, Multisom, Panvel, Rainha das Noivas and the cellar of Vinícola Aurora. 1,200 people are working in finalising and preparing the inauguration. On its opening to the public, occurred yesterday, the Shopping Total received the population of the Floresta neighbourhood half an hour earlier than the traditional time (10 a.m.), with a red carpet. The superintendent is Eduardo Oltramari.

A highlight of the project is the very beautiful buildings designed by German architect Theo Wiederspahn, built from 1911 to 1914, indelibly marking the city. Only this would already make the project worthwhile.

See pictures:

1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7,   8,   9,   10  11,   12,   13,   14,   15,   16,   17,   18,   19,   20,   21,   22,   23,   24



Swearing-in in the Committee of Municipal Affairs at the Legislative Assembly

After state deputy Osmar Severo changed parties (from PTB to PDT), his fellow state deputy Abílio dos Santos (PTB) was sworn-in as the new president of the Committee of Municipal Affairs, and Severo took on the vice presidency. The ceremony was chaired on Wednesday morning by the president of the Legislative Assembly, state deputy Vilson Covatti (PP), and attended by many state deputies and expressive audience. The Committee of Municipal Affairs deals with matters regarding municipalities, mostly concerning local development, which include the always polemic issue of emancipations and annexations. In Rio Grande do Sul, there are 497 municipalities, and more than 1,000 localities interested in emancipating (click here for the list). In his speech, the president of the Legislative Assembly reiterated that the institution supports the claim of the municipality of Pinto Bandeira, to retain its status of town, in keeping with a law passed in 1996. He also signalled its support for the devolution of the power to legislate over emancipations and land annexations to the states, considering the numerous and different peculiarities in an immense country, with 27 states and five large regions. According to him, no central law can be comprehensive enough in this aspect.

See some pictures of the swearing-in ceremony:   1,   2,   3,   4

For more texts, studies and materials on town emancipations, click here 

IMAGES OF MAY 25th, 2003:


"Caravan for Emancipation"

 On this cold and sunny Sunday at Vila Fão, a district of Marques de Souza County appertaining to Rio Grande do Sul – the southernmost state of Brazil – representatives of several localities aiming for political emancipation have held a second regional meeting. Many people from the state capital – Porto Alegre – have also participated in the rally. Among the attendees there were delegates to the Committee on Municipal Issues of the House of Representatives, friends and supporters of the campaign for emancipation and even a representative designated by a senator of the state, in addition to representatives of the areas adjacent to the state capital such as Vila de Itapuã (pertaining to the county of Viamão in RS) and Barro Vermelho (pertaining to the county of Gravataí in RS). More than 100 localities in Rio Grande do Sul have already brought actions under the Committee on Municipal Issues. Click here to check the list).

Vila Fão was settled at about 1907 by colonists of Italian descent. It reached a rapid initial growth and was soon nicknamed “the developing district of Vale do Taquari”. At that time there was even a well-equipped and prestigious hospital in the area. Notwithstanding, the region has suffered a series of setbacks to its advancement such as the passage of the motorway BR-386 (or "roadway of production" in RS) through an alternative route (on the other side of the river that borders Vila Fão), the unresolved deadlock over a more satisfactory and asphalted access to the aforementioned motorway and the difficulties and failures with regard to the submittal and approval of the requests for political emancipation in 1992 and 1996. In spite of everything the community has not  given up hope and because of its patience and persistence, once again the region ranges itself with the other localities aiming at obtaining their political autonomy. This seems to be one of the few alternatives left for the place to recover its progress and pave the way for its own future.

Although economically stagnant, the locality would certainly be able to become more active and progressive than it is nowadays – after all, besides having model pig-raising enterprises, it is also a significant producer of tangerines. It is probable that with more autonomy the region will be able to improve its access roads, to bring new dynamic undertakings (including factories) and to provide better conditions of work, health, education and culture for its residents. Without doubt a new life and a new future would flourish there.

A great many people have attended the regional meeting of AGAEA (The Gaúcho Association of Areas Aiming for Political Emancipation and Annexation) presided over by Ederaldo Araújo who also represents the community of Itapuã, one of the oldest, most beautiful and peculiar villages founded in Rio Grande do Sul – an area currently pertaining to the county of Viamão in RS. Among the emancipated areas the locality of Bojuru stands out as one of the oldest ones is RS. It is located between the counties of Tavares in RS and São José do Norte in RS,  exactly on the route which was formerly covered by drovers and by the Portuguese who used to travel between Colônia do Sacramento (currently appertaining to Uruguay) and Laguna, a county pertaining to the current state of Santa Catarina and formerly the southernmost locality of the “Portuguese settlement” in Brazil. 

Although the meeting has taken place on a typically beautiful sunny Sunday, neither the representatives of the areas nor the supporters of the campaign have considered it as a “wasted day”. The community meetings which are held in the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul always turn out to be a celebration. By and large, there are warm and lively receptions with lots of food and drink, typical tunes, popular songs and a delicious dessert. A wintry day like this flies by quite fast and suddenly we realize it is time to go back home. So we wait for a new opportunity to visit another locality with the "caravan for emancipation", a project aiming at enriching Rio Grande do Sul and turning this mosaic of ethnic groups and geographical variations into a more interesting, colorful, wealthy and developed state. 

See some images of our visit:    1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   7,   8,   9,   10, 11

PICTURES FROM 13 May 2003: 


"Porto Alegre in Heaven" or "Porto Alegre in fire" are titles that one could give to the view made by the fog over the city, at its lowest part, close to the Guaíba river, on Tuesday morning. At this time of the year, it is common for intense fog to occur, extensively covering lower parts of the city, especially zones close to the Guaíba river.

See what an interesting picture:   1

PICTURES FROM 10 May 2003: 


Last weekend, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul hosted a round of the Red Bull Skate Pro Tournament, at the Sunset Anfitheatre. It was an opportunity for many youngsters to get extreme with their skateboards. The winner was "Mineirinho ", current No. 1 in the world ranking, who confirmed his favouritism:   1

Pictures of an always lovely sunset, on the banks of the Guaíba, close to the Gasometer:   1  2,   3  4,   5,   6  7  8



The beach town of Torres lies at the northernmost part of the coastline of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), along the Mampituba river, that goes down the mountains of Serra Geral towards the sea, outlining the limits with the state of Santa Catarina. It has one of the most beautiful geographies in Brazil, with its rocky formations entering the sea. Therefore, it is one of the best postcards for tourists like Jürgen and Doris, who came to visit the State and to encourage interchange between the towns of São Vendelino (in Brazil) and Sankt Wendel, in the German state of Saarland, located in south-western Germany, bordering France. One can say that São Vendelino and Sankt Wendel are, in fact, two sister towns, in terms of name and ethnic-cultural background, because most of the population of São Vendelino descends from settlers originally from Sankt Wendel, including the old relatives of cardinal D. Vicente Scherer (click here for more information on cultural interchange between São Vendelino and Sankt Wendel).

In the Mampituba river, the presence of botos always indicates the proximity of fish clusters. When it happens, such as on this holiday in Brazil, in homage to workers, many fishermen get their casting nets in order to go fishing.

See some pictures of a sunny Thursday afternoon:   1,   2,   3  4,   5  6,   7


 Among the first German immigrants that arrived in Rio Grande do Sul, in 1824, temporarily settling at the Fazenda do Linho Cânhamo, in São Leopoldo-RS, some later moved out to the region where currently the town of Mampituba lies. In fact, that area is made up of a valley along the Mampituba river, at a corner between the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, just at the foot of the mountains that form the area known as Aparados da Serra. However, upon the German settlers' arrival, severe floodings scared them and made them look for other colonies, in two groups or teams. One – formed by Protestants – settled at the area where the town of  Três Forquilhas-RS currently lies; the other – made up of Catholics – settled at the "St Peter's Settlement", which is located in the area of the current town of  D. Pedro de Alcântara.  It is also possible to come across interesting and illustrative remainders of that time, such as a genuine German-style dwelling, built in 1828, which we found on the road that links the towns of Três Forquilhas and Itati, along a river that crosses the town (and after which the town has been named).  The house has preserved its original state, including "parrotes" and an original oven, which just need money to be restored. The roof caused the only doubts, for it had a typical Portuguese style, similar to the roofs of other old Portuguese houses, such as in the town of Rio Pardo-RS. Some people there say the house is the oldest example of German immigration in Rio Grande do Sul:   1,   2,   3

PICTURES FROM 14 April 2003:


 Public gathering at the Sunset Anfitheatre, for a live music concert, on a sunny Sunday afternoon: 1

PICTURES OF 04/10/2003:


   Images of the Tree of Peace in Porto Alegre: enter here 

Dynamic images of the city of Porto Alegre:  access here

PICTURES OF 03/30/2003:


    Everything for the emancipation:

 A group of representatives from areas who are emancipating in RS left, by bus, to Brasilia, on a trip that shall last 36 hours to go and other 36 to come back, in order to meet other state representatives of Brazil and to support the changes to the federal legislation ("amendment 15") referring to the emancipation of districts, and giving back to the States the possibility of legislating on them. People of different ages, enthusiastic and idealistic, take part in the group.  See part of the group, in front of the bus, before the departure, in front of the State Legislature building:    1

Peace for the world:   

 In Brazil, except for few, all are in favor of the peace in the Middle East, and against the war declared by the U.S.A. and coalition to Iraq. The feeling reflects the thought and the way of life of the Brazilian people, who is pacific, conciliatory, and humble. On these days of war, a feeling of unconformity and disillusion seems to have pervaded the gaucho and Brazilian population before this reality. Few and shy manifestations against the war and in favor of the peace are seen.  However, the traditional and proud "home of the people" of Rio Grande (State Legislature) could not be silent ahead of the facts, and decided to become public its opinion and manifestation, displaying an enormous banner with the words: yes to the peace:    1 

PICTURES OF 20th to 23rd March 2003


Florianópolis is located in the south of Brazil. The capital of the state of Santa Catarina has Azorian roots and is located on an island in the Atlantic, with 42 beaches, making up some of the most beautiful scenery in Brazil. To many (Brazilians, Uruguayans and Argentinians), it constitutes a "magic" place, where one is supposed to take at least a few days off every year. In January and February, the island is full of tourists; thus, March is an excellent month for one to enjoy the late Summer in this truly heavenly place, full of indescribable natural beauties.

In the following pictures, you can see some really beautiful locations:

a) Praia Brava (also known as "Guga's Beach"):   1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   7

b) View of the Northern Bay, from Praia da Ponta das Canas:   1,   2,   3

c) Praia dos Ingleses:   1,   2,   3

d) Praia do Santinho:   1,   2,   3

e) Lagoa da Conceição:   1,   2,   3  4

f) Praia de Pântano do Sul:   1

g) Bar do Arantes, at Praia de Pântano do Sul:  1,   2,   3  4

This bar-restaurant stands out due to its cachaça - sugarcane liquor - and to the thousands of messages hanging on the walls. Such messages include compliments to the hospitality of the people of Santa Catarina, to the high quality of the food and to the devoted waiters and waitresses. They also comprise messages of longing for dear ones and for past lovers; of votes of friendship and loyalty; of praise for life; to "gremistas" and "colorados", among others. The messages make up a particular attraction, and some say even president Lula, governors and several Brazilian officials left their (political) messages there.

h) Praia da Armação:   1

i) Ponta das Pedras:   1

j) Praça da Praia at Jurerê Internacional Beach:   1,   2,   3  4

k) Lovers' Promenade,  at Jurerê Internacional Beach:   1

l) Beautiful houses at Jurerê Internacional Beach:   

1,   2,   3,   4  5,   6,   7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12  13,   14,   15,   16,   17,  

 18,   19,   20,   21,   22,   23,   24,   25,   26,   27,   28,   29,   30,   31,   32,   33,   34

Pictures from 9th March 2003


When it comes to describing the ethnic origin of the population of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), one typically mentions Germans, Portuguese, Africans, Italians and Poles. However, there are many other major ethnicisms in the State, and they include Jews, Arabs, Russians, Japanese, Ukrainians and others - each one of them with its branches and surprises. Thus, "Germans" are, in fact, a mix of immigrants from parts of Old Germany, including Prussia and Pomerania, and settlers from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, France and other places. All they had in common was that they spoke some German dialect. Such origins of the settlers who came to Brazil and RS are reminded by the "linhas" or "picadas" named after them, spreaded across towns, such as Linha Francesa Alta e Baixa (High and Low French Line), in Barão-RS, and Vale Suíço (Swiss Valley), in São Vendelino-RS. Not to mention the numerous denominations borrowed from original cities and regions by villages of Italian influence near Caxias do Sul-RS.

This time, we went on a tour of a very talked about, but few times visited, place in the Caí River Valley: the Linha Francesa Alta, a district in the town of Barão-RS. In order to get there, it is recommended that one take the RS-122 State Way (Porto Alegre - Caxias do Sul) turning at the village of Santa Teresinha (in the town of Bom Princípio-RS), and going ahead. In such routes through the country, one had better be prudent; many times does one get to crossroads with no indications at all. Then, it is necessary to have some luck to choose the correct way.

Linha Francesa Alta is located in a high part of the Caí Valley, allowing for exotic views. The population is quite humble, but very hard-working. For it is the highest region in the Caí Valley, companies prefer to set up in easier-access places, such as in Bom Princípio. That's why youngsters typically have to work out of their village, in other towns, a fact that weakens the youngsters' town of origin.

The place still retains an air of "old-times settlement", because of the simplicity of the people, things and customs. However, everybody has a good home to live in.

Follow our path with these lovely pictures taken in the villages of Linha Francesa Alta and Linha Francesa Baixa.

Pictures of the path to and from the village of Linha Francesa Alta:

1,   2,   4,   5,   6,   7,   8,   10,   11,   12,   13,   14,   15,   16,   17,   18

Pictures of the path to and from the village of Linha Francesa Baixa:

1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6


Duplication of factories: 

- Madesa (furniture):   1

- Reichert (shoes):   1

Construction works of a municipal school and a municipal gymnasium in the village of Morro Tico-tico:   1,   2,   3


Translated by Traduzca