Health in Itacaré

Nearly every day a local Brazilian asks me what I like about living in Itacaré. I usually run down a list of attributes that first attracted me here seven years ago: the beautiful nature, spectacular beaches, warm weather, happy people, and the fact that I have been a fan of Brazilian music long before I arrived.

During the day Itacaré is full of sunshine and lots of activity. There are no shortage of “healthy” things to do. Kayaking, fresco ball, surfing, swimming, running, cycling, capoeira, and slack lining, to name a few. All one needs to do is go outside and make an effort.

I asked three different alternative health professionals what it means to be healthy in Itacaré.

“What makes one healthy are life habits. Sleeping well, eating natural foods, maintaining a positive disposition, and being in harmony with nature for it is the foundation of life, said Wellington, licensed Holistic Therapist at Clinica do Sol.

Unlike most major metropolitan cities, nature is free and available to all in Itacaré. However, there is another side to this gorgeous tourist destination. What happens when a healthy person becomes ill. What are his or her options?

“At night, the town takes on a different energy,” a former Pilates instructor who frequently visits Itacaré said to me. “For a small city, temptation is every where. I have a hard time being healthy here.”

And she’s right, beers and caipirinhas flow from one hand to the next, the night air is filled with smoke, and barely-covered bodies lurk the streets on the hunt for a dance partner. It’s possible to spend an entire night moving and grooving, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep if you live anywhere close to Pituba, the main road.

“The quality of life in Itacaré is paramount; we live in the Atlantic rainforest with access to an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables; however, we are sorely lacking in public health care and this has been a major concern, said Veronica, Massage Therapist at Easy Drop Surf School.”

I understood what Veronica was saying. When I was stung by a maribondo (black hornet) two weeks ago, I was reluctant to go to the hospital in town because of its poor reputation.

“In order to define a city as healthy, one must consider not only individual health but public health as well. In Brasil, like many parts of the world, there are still too many uneducated, poor and sick people”, says Wellington who also offers weekly classes in Tai-Chi and Bio Dance. “My objective is to help others understand how the body works, to bring awareness to what it truly means to live in a healthy body AND community.”

I have participated in both Tai-Chi and Bio Dança classes hosted by Wellington and found it to be a great nighttime alternative to going bar hopping. I have also received massages from both Veronica and Wellington and will vouch for the healing power of their incredible hands. Massage has many physical and emotional benefits and can help prevent illness in the long run.
As the social and economic situation shifts in Itacaré, we must not take for granted the preventive health care available to us here in this paradise. For more information about Wellington and his services, click here. To schedule a massage with Veronica, visit the Easy Drop web site.

Wellington finalized by saying “Itacaré is a meeting point for creative, special people from all over the world. It’s important for our community to be strong and fit for the years ahead.”

By Lala the Sunchaser.

Grito Rock 2013

When I asked a few Itacaréense what the highlight of this past weekend’s Grito Rock Festival was, I heard repeatedly: the clowns.

“Itacaré is no stranger to live musical performances and parties so when there’s an event that includes children and laughter, it’s refreshing.” said Julia, a resident of Itacaré.
And, I wholeheartedly agree. When I arrived at the entrance of Cabana Corais along Concha Beach, the atmosphere was spirited but in a calm way. The first band, Mulambo Sound System, was doing a sound check on the stage made from an old and weathered boat. There were a couple hundred of people mulling around plus a handful of booths selling clothing, home accesories, and natural food. The scene reminded me of the Sarau held every second Saturday in Serra Grande (just 30 minutes outside of Itacaré).
Walking towards the view of the majestic lighthouse, I was greeted by another beautiful sight. Families and friends gathered around as two clowns emphasized the importance of REUSING, REDUCING and RECYCLING waste using jokes and innocent play to lighten the mood.
Considering that it was the first edition of this 300 city integrated festival tour, an alternative to Carnival, I would say that it was a success with plenty of room for growth. I left shortly after the first band began but was told that the festival continued with juggling, music, and mingling into the night.
Thanks to all of the performers, producers, participants, and sponsors of Grito Rock 2013 Festival for stopping by to learn, laugh, and dance with us.
By Lala the Sunchaser.