Carnival 2013

Do you hear that? It’s Carnival marching towards the gates of Brazil. The world’s biggest and longest lasting street party, Carnival will begin Saturday, February 9th and continue until Tuesday, February 12th. Itacaré is no different from other cities in Brazil, except the parties and blocos are much smaller yet equally as loud.
The Mayor’s Office of Itacaré is hosting “Eco Folia 2013″ bringing diverse attractions to the Carnival festivities promising smiles and good times for locals and visitors alike.

During the day along the boardwalk (orla), there will be two or more local blocos or groups performing at 12 pm and 4 pm each day. At night, there will be live performances of samba, axé, pagode e reggae. The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Feb. 9th – Priest Tiger “o papa do reggae”,
Sugar Roy and Conrad Crystal,   Dada Yute e Solano Jacob
Sunday, Feb. 10th – Gasparzinho
Monday, Feb. 11th – Viviane Tripodi
Tuesday, Feb. 12th – Jau Peri

One particular group that has been participating in Carnival for years is Libélula. Libélula is a Brazilian non-profit whose focus is to empower teenage girls and young women. They have been working for weeks on the fabulous Carnival costumes made from soda bottles, coffee filters, old newspapers, recycled goods, trash, and anything else you can imagine. This, in an effort to bring awareness to our environmental issues. Their group is called, O Luxo do Lixo (The luxuriousness of trash).

If you are interested in joining their group for Carnival on Saturday, February 9th. Stop by Libélula to purchase your costume ($R10) and support them in their mission to educate and provide assistance to the young women of Itacaré.

Happy Carnival to All!!!

By Lala the Sunchaser

Yoga in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

People come to Itacaré from all over the world, each for various reasons. Yet what each person has in common is the desire to enjoy everything this beautiful coastal Bahian town has to offer.

In the hectic world we live in today, it’s hard to stay focused on what is going on around you. Instead we either reminisce about the past or fixate on plans for the future. When vacation time finally arrives, staying in the present becomes even trickier.

“Yoga helps you stay in the present moment, which is the only place where life actually exists”

Renata Segrada Cavalhero, also known as Lua, has been giving yoga classes in Itacaré for over eight years. Her weekly classes at Pousada Ilha Verde´s garden are a big success in town and all are invited to join.

“In the class we practice Hatha Yoga mixed with bits and pieces inspired by Michelin Berry. I don´t like repetition so I try to make each class different.” Lua adds.

It is said that a peaceful and natural environment ensures a calm mind. In this case, Itacaré with its rich wilderness, creates an ideal scenery for the practice of Yoga.

“What makes Itacaré a special place for yoga is its amazing nature as well as the warm and comfortable climate. Also, since Itacaré is a famous surf spot, yoga is a good complement for surfing” Lua says.

The classes take place on a circular wooden patio that is surrounded by a big garden with flowers and fruits. Additionally, the lit candles and the smell of incense creates a very “yogic” vibe.In Sanskrit the word Yoga means “union” referring to the bond between the mind and the body that needs to be in balance.

”Through the practice of Yoga we reach a higher level of both well-being and awareness. It’s a good moment for us to observe ourselves and accept all sides of our personality” Lua says.

It doesn´t matter if one is a new bee or a master, Lua’s practice is open for everyone who wants to experience Yoga in a beautiful and peaceful environment.

Classes are held at Pousada Ilha Verde on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8.30 and 18.00. To participate in a class, simply arrive at the scheduled time. And for private classes, feel free to contact Lua directly at +55 73 9133-9702.

Top 10 Healthy things do in Itacaré for free!

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

1. Clay in Engenocha
Only a few kilometers outside of Itacaré and a 15-minute walk through the Atlantic forest lies the beach called Engenocha. There is a wall facing the sea that is made of a special clay called “Argyle”. This clay is known for its toxin-drawing properties. Cover yourself in it, wait a bit then take a dip in the warm ocean water to rinse. The final result is soft and healthy skin.

2. Coconut water at the beaches
It will be a challenge to find a coconut-free beach around here! Take one of the already fallen coconuts, hit it against the rock and drink the nutrient rich coconut water that is full of electrolytes. Coconut water also helps your body fight viruses and boost your metabolism system.

3. Cocoa good for the heart
Itacaré is located on what is known as the coast of Cocoa. This fruit has many benefits including the ability to decrease blood pressure, which as a result, improves blood vessel health and lowers cholesterol levels. Chocolate which is made from Cocoa, is also said to increases the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotions, creating a good feeling.

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4. Massage under the waterfall
The waterfall of Tijuipe is known for its breathtaking beauty but what many people do not know is that if you stand under the falling water, it’s akin to receiving an excellent shoulder massage. Say goodbye to worry and stress!

5. Walk barefoot at Concha
The calm sea at Concha beach allows you to walk around in the water slowly. The bottom is filled with small stones that press all the important spots under your feet and makes a gentel zonotherapeutic massage that is beneficial for the whole body.

6. Enjoy the energy of the sun
The sun is a great source of vitamin D that is necessary for optimal health. Getting your daily dose of sunshine will enhance your immune system. It increases the number of white blood cells in your blood. It also helps them to be better fighters in their mission to kill bacteria. Of course, we need only to expose ourselves to the sun for short periods. Plus always remember to use sunscreen!

7. Yoga for the mind and body
Through the practice of Yoga we reach a higher lever of both well-being and awareness. Go to Resende beach, inhale the beautiful scenery, close your eyes and feel your body become calmer with every inhalation.

8. Peeling with the sand
Our skin needs to be exfoliated at times to remove dead cells. The wet grit of sand is a perfect mixture of delicate and rough so a full-body scrub results in a glowing appearance. And pss! Your tan will lasts longer on a freshly peeled skin.

9. Laugh a lot
Laughter is the best medicine! It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, as well as improving your resistance to disease.

10. Dance the night away
Bahia is known as the place where people dance in the streets on every corner. Take off your sandals and shake your body to happy samba tunes or grab a partner and spin around while dancing Forró.

Say Hello to Mara

By Lala the Sunchaser.

I first met Mara months ago at a pizza party where we shared only a few pleasantries then bid each other a good night. The next time we talked it would be for over an hour at a friend’s going away party. We took turns lying in the communal hammock on the roof of a popular hostel, sharing stories about our lives and what brought us to Itacaré. Rosemara Borgens de Carvalho, or Mara as her friends and family call her, was born in the neighboring town of Taboquinas. She has been living in Itacaré for more than twenty years. Her story inspired me and I’m glad that Mara was willing to share it with you.
mara_dancaDescribe Itacaré in three words.
(HUGE SMILE!) Belisimo! Exuberant! Exotic!

What do you do here? I have been working as an artist for the last ten years. At first it was a kind of therapy, but now it’s how I make my living. I’m co-owner of an accessory shop on Pituba. I also assist an English teacher in my neighborhood of Barrio Novo two nights weekly. I adore working with children.
At the party, you shared your story about how this shop came about. Please tell me again.
For six years, I had been working in Infant Education. My focus was teaching young children how to read and write. I also worked as a Nanny from time to time and was hired to work    in Salvador. One day my boss was admiring the blouse and hairpiece I was wearing. I told her that I made them both. She was taken aback and demanded that I return home immediately. She told me, “You are an artist Mara. What are you doing here working for me? Go back to your city and open a shop, make art. You have a gift.”

The following day I returned to Itacaré and noticed this location was for rent. (I conducted the interview in her shop on the main road.) I contacted the owner and signed the papers that day … I didn’t have any money, nothing. The rent was R$400 so I ask three of my girlfriends to open it with me and invest R$100 each. They weren’t aware that I had already signed the papers. It was like something was pushing me … a little voice that said, “Go, Try, You Can Do It!” In hindsight, I believe that when you really want something, you find a way. And when you don’t, you make excuses.

How did you learn to make clothes and accessories?
I didn’t take a course or study formally. A good friend who is now one of my partners at the shop makes clothes; I asked her to give me her left-over fabric, the scraps. I would recycle them, making fuxico and hair pieces; and now, that’s what I do.
What inspires your work?
Colors … vibrant colors.

Do you believe in God?
Yes. God is a figure … pure and perfect. The creator who is superior to all of us.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
I love samba … dancing, singing, and listening to it. My favorites are Maria Rita and Alcione. I also like to “people watch” especially at the beach.
What is your favorite Itacaré beach?
Resende … when I am there I am transformed … all worries disappear. I feel light and free.
What’s in store for the future of Itacaré?
It’s a city that is progressing but there are two sides: one positive and one negative. On the positive side, businesses are growing, there are more jobs, and better technology. However, this type of progression brings pollution, more garbage, drugs, crime and violence. This is a world-wide problem but it is more impactful in a small town like Itacaré.

I would like the city officials and the residents to invest more energy and money in education, professional courses, and cultural arts then sports being last. This is important to me because I have two children, ages fifteen and thirteen. They attend the public school in town.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
Oh goodness, this is difficult … I will pick one for my work, one for me, and one for the world.
1) Professional: I want to grow as an artist and business owner … to evolve and earn my way.
2) Individual: To find romantic love … someone who wants to share everything.
3) World: That each person will experience peace. There is too much violence and war in the world.
Last question Mara, what is your favorite restaurant?
Malagueta, the spaghetti bolognese is delicious.

Mara and I could have easily talked all night. As she closed the shop, she shared another story about one of her many jobs as a receptionist in a funeral parlor. I couldn’t imagine her surround by grieving people and coffins. She was nearly in tears when she described how sad it was to have to sell things to people while they were in mourning. I’m happy she found her passion and Itacaré is better for it.