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

Happy almost New Year !!!

How many times have you heard this question this week?
What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?
2013_newyear
No matter where you live, New Year’s Eve marks the end of another year. In Itacaré, it’s simply another excuse to celebrate with family and friends on the beach under the moon and stars. And what’s a beach party without delightful drinks and festive music?

Word is that on December 30th, there will be a live show at Ribeira Beach with the reggae band Planta e Raiz. The show will be opened by Gabriel and the band, Santo Black.

On New Year’s Eve, there will be many parties around the city. At Cabana Corais, Andao Negro will deliver another stellar performance along with Luciano Mosiah, Red Lion, and much more including a light show, forró dancing.
Also, Mar and Mel, Itacaré’s favorite forró dance spot, will bring in the New Year with a live animation and musical performance by Ricardo Sodré and band who will be playing popular Axé musical hits.
mar_e_melWherever you choose to celebrate the coming year, if you are spending the holiday in Itacaré you are bound to have an unforgettable time.

Tickets purchased prior to the day of shows are discounted.
Buy your tickets today!

And for more details, see the links below:

 

Itacaré’s Fairy God Mother, Ronara Santos

By Lala the Sunchaser.

Do you believe in fairy tales? The longer I stay in Itacaré, the more I believe.

Some days I feel as though I’m in a dream or on a movie set in paradise. But it’s not only the natural beauty that evokes these feelings, it’s the people who live here too. For the past five months, I’ve been volunteering with an organization called Punho Forte which loosely translates to Fight Back. Punho Forte is a non-profit before and after school program that promotes education, optimal health, foreign language development, and extracurricular activities. Ronara Santos, Professor of Basic Education Studies for sixteen years, is the fairy God Mother at Punho Forte. I was surprised to hear that she’s only been working with them for one year. It’s as if she has been there since the beginning. The children adore her!
ronara_kidsWhat is your first memory of Itacaré?

I arrived during my adolescent years (22 years ago), I remember meeting my friends at the Praça de São Miguel near the big church. I also remember how peaceful it felt. There was hardly any violence back then.
churchWhere do you live and with whom?
I have lived on Pituba 3 for the past ten years with my daughter and my dog, Bigu (short for Bigurrilho which means little fragile thing). A most-fitting name indeed.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Singing, painting, sewing (she made the dresses for the holiday, São João, using left over junk food packaging), and any thing related to the arts.

What is your favorite type of music and who are some of your favorite artists or singers?
I love Brazilian Popular Music (M.P.B.). My favorite singers in this category are Marisa Monte and Vanessa da Mata. I also love the classic singers … Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Roberta Sa, and Djavan … she kept rattling on names until I had to stop her … then she blurted out, oh and my favorite samba musician is Nelson Cavaquinho. Look on the internet for his music, you will love it!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
1) That my children grow to be independent and well-formed in society.
2) That I have the energy to help others more.
3) I also wish to learn how to reciprocate more, and be less egotistical in the process.
What do you hope for the future of Itacaré? Taking an enormous deep breath: Our government and the people must get better at organizing the small things … being better administrators. The main areas that need support are education, maintaining and enriching our culture, security (for locals and tourists), and better health care.
Itacaré may be paradise but let’s just say I would never want to get seriously injured here.

What do you hope for the future of Punho Forte?
– to build our own space (currently the use a space on loan in one of the schools)
– to attract more volunteers – to secure better financing to execute more projects
– to offer professional courses so the children feel equipped to be in the world and workforce
Favorite Itacaré beach?
Resende and Jeribucaça

Favorite restaurant?
Manga Rosa for their fish. Ronara loves to cook and bake. Her final words on the subject of eating were, “I adore anything made with chocolate.”

Do you have any plans to leave Itacaré?
Not at all. I want to stay here. It’s where I constructed my life story … where I studied, had a family, and build my career in education. I love living here.
In addition to looking after the many children of Punho Forte, Ronara supports her two teenage children and spends time with her partner who lives in Salvador. She is a most certainly a guiding light, adding to the magical beauty in Itacaré.

in waves we trust

By: Lala the Sunchaser.

The locals of Itacaréare known for two things: their appreciation for reggae music and their love of surf. For many here, surfing is a drug. I have witnessed the young and older running barefoot in the rain just to catch a wave. And I have spent  the past few days with one of these surf addicts who goes by the name of Felipe Almeida. Born and reared in Itacaré, Felipe began surfing at the age of seven. The first time I met him we were both on the same boat for a day trip along the Contas River. I had only been living here for three weeks. Felipe didn’t talk much but I knew there was something more to this mystery man than a great head of hair.
I met Felipe a few weeks ago at his surf shop on the main road aka “Pituba”. We talked for over an hour about waves, the surf culture in Itacaré and his life as the owner of Local Surf School and Shop.
“Why Surf?” I asked.

He closed his eyes as if he was floating in the ocean then quickly re-opened them and responded, “The first time I stood up. I knew I wanted to continue.”

I asked Felipe if he thought surfers were born with the skill to ride waves or if hardcore training was the key.
He shook his head and said, “Both. For me, I believe both.”
Who introduced you to surfing?
A few of my friends influenced me. In particular, Neto, Origenes, Adriano, and Bruno.

Name your top 3 favorite surfers and why.
Andy Irons was the most radical surfer, Danilo Couto because he exudes courage, and Origenes Araújo for his surfing style.

What is surfing about for you?
It´s all about the feeling. It´s very spiritual and it´s very personal. I surf to be ready when that perfect wave arrives. Each surfer brings his or her influences to the ocean. The type of wave you need may be completely different from the type of wave I need. It is an endless quest.
When did you first begin teaching and what are the first things you share with your students?
I started teaching in 1998 at the age of sixteen. During the first class, I review the landscape of the beach and its surrounding area, then we discuss safety, and next we warm up together by stretching before we enter the water.

What does one need to teach surf?
There are five different certifications. You don´t necessarily need them all but I have these from the International Surfing Association (ISA).
1. Professor Surf
2. Technical Surf
3. Judge Surf
4. First Aid Certification
5. Life Guard Certification
How would you describe the surf culture in Itacaré?
Itacaré is a small town with not a lot of construction which is great for surfing because the wind current is better and the surrounding nature is beautiful so many people travel here for this reason. The native surfers respect each other and the space of visiting surfers. Although it’s always more fun to surf where there are less people.

How would you describe Itacaré?
It´s my foundation, my home.
What do you like to do when you are not surfing?
Swimming, reading, and playing guitar. (He’s also known for lurking around with a bottle of white wine in hand.)

Where is your next surf trip and what are the 5 most important things you will bring with you?

I am planning to go to South Africa and Indonesia next year … I will bring:

  1. Pimenta sauce made my mother
  2. Five different surf boards (pranchas)
  3. My new camera
  4. Sunglasses
  5. My iPod

Speaking of iPods, what is your favorite song?
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.  Actually he responded by saying “Comfortable Numbers” and just to keep the conversation going, I acted as if I knew the tune. Felipe had been life guarding on the beach and not until my walk home did I realize that he actually meant this track from the album, The Wall.
I´ve managed to attend one surf class with Felipe and although, it was a formidable experience, I could envision riding a wave in this lifetime with a great deal of discipline and practice. There were three other students in my class: two from Holland and one from São Paulo. It was a beautiful day and Felipe taught the class in English since it was the common language amongst us four. After two hours in the water, we returned to Pituba craving food then hammock time.
Felipe is a staple in the community and a character amongst characters.