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Striving more and more to provide a professional service, all teams reinforced their training in hygiene and safety and in good customer relations practices. This return is also symbolized by a new uniform, specific to the activity, which will also be a differentiating element. Simultaneously, ERSUC continues its plan to clean the ecopoints, in all its 36 municipalities, an essential operation to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
These extraordinary growths are the result of a high investment program carried out, integrated in an application co-financed by the Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources POSEUR , and to the priority given to the activity of selective collection of packaging waste, remodeling and modernization of infrastructure and awareness campaigns with the population, which translated into an effective and growing participation of citizens in the habits of recycling.
EGF launched a new area on its website that allows citizens to find out, through geolocation, where the selective sorting containers ecopoints , of the areas concessioned by EGF, are located. If your usual ecopoint is full, or if you are in a place you are unfamiliar with, you no longer have an excuse for not putting waste in the nearest ecopoint and thus continuing to recycle.
Help us to keep Portugal clean, respect waste collection and management workers and never leave trash on the floor! All the company's facilities and activities remain certified, leaving us very satisfied". Among the numerous internal and external advantages inherent to Algar's Integrated Management Systems, the following stand out: the adoption of pollution prevention principles, as well as the strengthening of training and the satisfaction of employees, customers, stakeholders and society, in general.
In terms of Safety, Algar prevents the risk of accidents, work diseases and guarantees a safe and healthy work environment in all sectors of the company. ISWA - International Solid Waste Association is a non-governmental association whose mission is to promote and develop professional waste management worldwide as a contribution to sustainable development. The organization has an area on its website dedicated to COVID that demonstrates how waste treatment is carried out during the pandemic around the world.
In cooperation, through informative videos in several languages, we are able to spread the message more easily and inform more people from different countries. We are stronger together against the pandemic! It is important to thank those who deal with our waste on a daily basis.
To this end, in addition to a campaign to raise awareness among the population, to follow the rules and stay at home to protect themselves and waste collection workers; posters, leaflets and social media posts were made available thus facilitating the transmission of simple rules to have with the waste we produce every day during the pandemic.
In order to support all professionals of EGF, and of the municipalities, it is important not to neglect the 5 rules of waste treatment. Namely, to remember that the placement of bulky waste for collection is not a priority during the pandemic. Even if you are cleaning and tidying your home, you must wait for the end of this phase and only place these materials mattresses, sofas and other materials that do not fit in the containers when the service is available once again.
Ana Loureiro, Communication's Director at EGF, answered the most frequently asked questions from citizens related to recycling, collection and treatment of waste during COVID's pandemic and clarified any lingering doubts about waste management during this pandemic phase. The company's participation in the program also extended to its concessionaires. During the group's participation in the program, the importance of people staying at home was also emphasized as to safeguard the safety of workers in the collection and treatment of waste.
The periodical publication aims to demonstrate what is best done in the Mota-Engil Group around the world, through the sharing of news from the various companies that make up the group on various continents. This edition, the 56th, has sustainability as a prominent theme and focuses on the priorities that the Group defined for the three-year period that involve investing in the community, in safety, environment, ethics and compliance, as well as in diversity and inclusion.
At EGF, we highlight the significant results of recycling and selective collection in ; Valorsul's 25th anniversary; the success of environmental education projects such as Ecovalor and EcoPraias; new infrastructures; constant synergies between EGF and its concessionaires and the growing intra-group articulation.
This edition will be distributed only in digital format and can be read HERE. EGF has just made available, through their digital platform www. In this page , which gives clear and simple indications based on the guidelines of the Portuguese Environment Agency and the Directorate-General for Health, posters and leaflets in several languages, press releases and short films with useful information were made available; it is also possible to clarify questions about recycling or better understand how to protect yourself and the people around you to avoid contagion.
In view of the evolution of COVID infection in Portugal, EGF warns the population of five essential waste rules to have with household waste and that needs special attention during a pandemic phase. To avoid contamination of more people, it is important to correct mistakes that have been occurring with some frequency in the public space, namely the deposition of waste outside the container or the placement of masks and gloves in ecopoints. It is urgent to correct these behaviors, for the protection of workers and the community, as defined in the following Waste Rules.
This alarm stems from the urgent need to improve individual behaviors that influence the service for the collection and treatment of urban waste, ensured every day by companies and municipalities. These materials are appearing, in large quantities, in ecopoints, ending up in the sorting lines. In addition to not being recyclable, they can be contaminated. Anyone in these conditions should have their garbage placed in two bags, one inside the other, tightly closed.
These bags must not be full or compacted - they just have to be tightly closed and deposited inside the regular waste container. If the container is full, it should be used when it is available or you should make use the nearest container. If the usual collection is made with bags, the instructions of the municipality or parish must be followed. The best way to thank them is to share and comply with these rules and to be understanding of the collection adaptations that your municipality and EGF concessionaires may have to make.
EGF has launched a social media campaign that sensitizes the population to stay home with the aim of preventing the spread of COVID's pandemic. The campaign shows workers of EGF's concessionaires with posters warning the population to stay home, to protect themselves and the selective collection workers. All infected waste must be placed in the regular waste container and sealed properly in two bags. During the fight against the pandemic, EGF asks the population to comply with the new rules on handling domestic waste:.
If it is full, put it in the nearest container or use it when it is available. Every day workers in the waste collection and treatment sector continue to contribute to the cleaning of our streets, through selective collection, and to ensure the treatment of our waste. The best way to thank them is to share and comply with these rules and be understanding of the adaptations to the collection that your municipality and Valorsul may have to make.
The Contingency Plans of all Concessionaires are already active in order to prevent or mitigate the effects that the generalized spread of the virus may have on the provision of public services, observing all recommendations of the General Directorate of Health. These are essential informations and precautions that we should all have for our own protection and of the community, as well. You can find a poster of said precautions below in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish.
This title represents a European Commission project that recognizes cities that are progressively more eco-friendly, that strive to make the lives of their citizens healthier and more sustainable and that promote environmental awareness. Together with other companies, Valorsul signed the Lisbon Capital Verde environmental pact, committing itself to implementing, by , measures and actions that mitigate the environmental footprint and promote good sustainable practices.
Among those actions are projects aimed at combating climate change, namely directed at promoting recycling and circular economy, such as:. Thematic topics were discussed on textile production and its costs, the problem of textiles in the flow of undifferentiated waste and the products that can be made with textile waste, as well as the creation of a management entity for the sector.
Within the scope of Health and Safety Measures at Work, adopted by Amarsul, the company is promoting their awareness actions, which take place in the facilities of Palmela and Seixal's Ecoparks. This investment is part of an application financed by the Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources POSEUR and concretizes a strategic option outlined in the Action Plan of the Strategic Plan for Urban Solid Waste in response to the challenges introduced by PERSU in regarding the increase in multimaterial recycling, thus contributing to the improvement of the service provided to the municipalities in the intervention area.
With an innovative approach, and designed on itinerant planetariums, the awareness actions include, in addition to film presentations, games on environmental themes and delivery of pedagogical materials that allow for the consolidation of the knowledge obtained. Dates and places of the activities :. The themes presented in this initiative are based on the Reduction, Reuse, Recovery and Recycling of materials and energy, replacing the end-of-life concept of linear economy, with concepts of Reuse, Restoration and Renovation.
In such a way, the action contributes to active citizenship in the field of sustainable development and to the construction of a low carbon society, rational and efficient in the use of its resources. These indicators are the result of the investment of 10 million euros that Amarsul has developed in the multi-material selective collection of packaging waste in recent years in vehicles, ecopoints and containers for selective door-to-door collection, as well as in environmental awareness campaigns for incentive to recycling, developed in partnership with the Municipalities.
This amount, part of Amarsul's investment plan, is co-financed by the POSEUR program - Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources and aims to increase and optimize the quantities of recyclables separated at source. Amarsul ended with an annual capitation of 39 kg of packaging waste separated per inhabitant and with twice the collection points for recyclable waste.
In , the goal is to reach the target of 45kg per inhabitant. The placement of green ecopoints for glass separation aims to increase the amount of glass sent for recycling and complements the investment in strengthening the ecopoint network that Valorlis has been undertaking in its intervention area.
The provision of these means, belonging to Valorlis' investment plan in the amount of 1. In this sense, it was requested to all participants of the event to separate their waste correctly. In , Valorsul, an EGF concessionaire in the Greater Lisbon and West area, met all environmental targets with an increase in recycling in all materials sent. More 8, tons of material than in , was the number registered in the company's Sorting Centers that totaled, in , more than 93 thousand tons received.
In , each inhabitant sent, on average, 55 kg of materials to recycle. This value means that, in just two years, each person separated an average of 10 kg more. Lisbon is the municipality in the region with the highest recycling per capita, with kg of packaging separation per inhabitant. This sharp growth was due to a strong investment in selective collection carried out by the company with over ecopoints, 28 more collection vehicles and awareness campaigns.
This increase, recorded in all recyclable materials collected, was due to the investment that Suldouro has made in the selective multi-material collection of packaging waste in recent years; namely in vehicles, ecopoints and containers for selective door-to-door collection. This investment is part of an application financed by the Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources POSEUR and, concretizes, a strategic option outlined in the Action Plan of the Strategic Plan for Urban Solid Waste in response to the challenges introduced by PERSU in regards the increase in multimaterial recycling, thus contributing to the improvement of the service provided to the two municipalities.
This campaign aims to value all recyclable waste that registered institutions want to deliver to Algar, namely plastic, metal, paper, cardboard and glass packaging, in exchange for a financial contribution. The Algarve institution provides support to IPSS that will also contribute to the separation and delivery of recyclable packaging waste. The financial contribution will be used to purchase food to reinforce baskets of families supported by the institution. To participate it is necessary to register with Algar by email geral algar.
After receiving the data, a client file will be opened that will work as a current account for each institution in order to quantify the weight of the material delivered, and then a weighing slip will be made available. Deliveries made by other entities will also be accepted as long as they are made on behalf of an IPSS already registered in the campaign.
Valorsul's Energy Valorisation Center celebrates 20 years of existence today. In two decades, 14 million tons of waste were transformed into energy. This plant, pioneer in Portugal, is intended to treat waste from undifferentiated collection. Each day it receives close to 2, tons of urban waste and produces enough energy to supply a city of thousand inhabitants. Twenty years after its construction, it was possible to divert 14 million tonnes of waste from landfill, transforming it into energy.
This energy is sent to the electricity grid, saving the use of other sources, thus avoiding imports. Valorlis, EGF's concessionaire in Alta Estremadura , ended with the highest value ever in the selective collection of municipal waste. The involvement of the population was essential to achieve these results. And adds: "Despite the excellent results achieved, we are aware that our effort to provide an increasingly better service to the population must continue, so that together we can build a better environment for all".
In addition to evaluating the work carried out, strategies for the future were defined with the objective of attracting more and more people to reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce. These actions contribute to active citizenship in the field of sustainable development and to the construction of a low carbon society, rational and efficient in the use of its resources. This relationship aims to promote a continuous and balanced reinforcement of economic and commercial relations through financial support.
The project proposes the development of an innovative solution for the construction of prefabricated acoustic barriers betting on the reuse of artificial aggregates produced from slags from the incineration of urban waste. As part of the competition - Projects for the Promotion of Circular Economy in the Construction Sector - of the "Environment, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy" Program, the project will allow to mitigate noise induced by road traffic, which will significantly contribute to an improvement in the quality of life of the populations neighboring the places where this solution will be implemented and to attenuate the ecological footprint of the civil construction sector.
Algar, responsible for the recovery and treatment of municipal waste in Algarve, reinforced the washing of ecopoints, including cleaning of selective packaging disposal sites and surrounding areas, maintenance of equipment and replacement of signs. The work is performed by specialized teams, from Monday to Saturday, excluding holidays, during daylight hours. This action is carried out within the framework of the Operational Plan for the Selective Collection Activity and is part of the continuous improvement of the quality of service provided to the population and visitors of the region, to reinforce public health care and to ensure an effective recovery of the collected waste.
It has also been increasing the number of ecopoints, with the placement of new equipments on public roads in and over ecopoints in Together, Valnor, the Parish Council, and the school children from Santo Amaro, dismantled the Christmas tree and placed more than 5, plastic bottles in bags supplied by Valnor. Afterwards, the bags were collected by a Valnor vehicle that pressed all the packages to then transport them to the sorting center. All bottles were sent to the recycling industry to be transformed into new pens, buckets, vases or new packaging.
Composting is a sustainable biological process of harnessing organic matter resulting from the preparation of meals such as food rinds, bread crumbs, coffee grounds or vegetable scraps. Soil microorganisms transform this matter into compost which can subsequently be used in agriculture, vegetable gardens or gardens. The domestic composting program thus reduces the amount of organic waste landfilled and serves as an alternative to soil-damaging chemical fertilizers.
This program, which began in , currently has more than composters distributed and has already allowed nearly 19, tons of waste to be diverted from landfills. Despite Algarve's good performance in terms of recyclable packaging waste, Algar warns that there is still much work to be done in the region.
In this campaign, Algar calls for all recyclable packaging to be placed in ecopoints and not just some, as the remaining fraction of recyclable packaging waste, which is not deposited in the correct ecopoint, is being placed directly by the population in the undifferentiated waste bin ordinary refuse , which is then collected by municipalities and destined for landfill.
This Christmas campaign is aimed at all residents and visitors of the region. Deliveries made by other entities will also be accepted if they are made on behalf of an IPSS already registered in the campaign. The construction of the landfill translates into an investment of 3. Of the tons raised, 93 tons of paper and cardboard and 33 tons of plastic and metal packaging were sent for recycling. According to Nuno Heitor, Deputy Director of Valnor, "Valnor is a company whose mission is to promote recycling in its region, and to this end, its focus has been reflected on environmental education and social responsibility campaigns, to involve the community in our environmental and social mission.
Pinheiro Bombeiro is a social initiative of the Portuguese startup Rnters that allows, during the Christmas period, to rent real Christmas pines. The pines used are thinning pines, the result of clearing a ground in the Coruche area.
In alone, more than 18, euros were raised for the firefighters of Viana do Castelo. At the end of the lease, the pine is returned and transformed into biomass, finalizing the lease and its use in a sustainable way.
This initiative has the support of the Portuguese Association of Voluntary Firefighters. This will fight soil erosion and improve its physical, chemical and biological properties. The initiative aims to encourage the correct separation of waste, namely from paper that is used for gift wrapping, avoiding its disposal in household waste equipment undifferentiated waste. This year, 56 identified containers will be available to promote the correct separation of waste.
They will be available in residential areas where there is a greater distance to common ecopoints. The campaign collected 1, kilos of paper and cardboard, avoiding the felling of approximately 40 trees. Containers, placed at the end of the first half of December, will be available until Kings' Day, January 6, Recycle Bingo has reached Suldouro's intervention area!
Despite being an app, it works primarily as a game that makes the recycling experience much more fun and rewarding. The main mission of the game is to make visits to our Habitual Ecopoints. By geolocation our Smartphone knows we are close to it. When we check in we unlock a set of nice little pets, the EcoGifts, with which we will fill our BinGo cards.
Each time we complete a card we earn EcoMoedas - which we can redeem for great prizes such as movie tickets, discount vouchers, and more. In addition to this main mission, the application is launching special surprise missions in order to improve the Portuguese knowledge about recycling, maintain involvement with Recycle BinGo. And of course, reward the most friends on the planet. Resulima is a reference company in the environmental sector, being responsible for recycling and treating urban waste of more than We are sure that this association of Suldouro with Recycle BinGo will help us all to meet the important recycling goals that Portugal faces short term.
For this to happen, these news need to disseminate. The convention opened with a speech by Bernardino Soares, President of Loures' Townhall and featured renowned leaders, in sustainability and social responsibility issues, associated with themes of sea and energy. This meeting brought together a panel of speakers with different opinions and responsibilities in the waste sector, which allowed for a wide debate and discussion of relevant topics that interested all participants.
The European Waste Prevention Week is taking place. This project, already in its 7th edition, is due to the need to reduce the amount of waste we produce. From the early s until , household waste has doubled in the European Union, per capita and by weight.
In , the annual production of household waste from each European reached kg! And that is the main objective of the actions that will take place this year. There are 16, shares across Europe! Also in Portugal this movement is promoted by EGF and its concessionaires, of which we highlight some examples. The actions promote environmentally appropriate behavior on the theme of urban waste and include, in addition to the presentation of films, the delivery of teaching materials that allow consolidating the knowledge obtained.
The adhesion by the population exceeded the expectations, having the registrations sold out within a few hours, which led to Valorlis opening a second time. Participants began the visit by placing the waste they brought from home in Valorlis ecopoints, followed by a guided visit to the Sorting Unit and Leiria Landfill, where it was explained what happens to the waste after it is placed in their containers. During the visit the myths of recycling were also clarified and the rules of waste separation clarified.
In this workshop participants will learn techniques to avoid waste in the garden and kitchen and learn to conserve and turn leftovers into delicious dishes. The program includes: Refood and elimination of food waste; Little tricks to reduce the amount of food sent to the trash; Presentation and elaboration of various ways of preserving food; Revenue Sharing. Valorsul has ongoing 20 registered actions, identified below, in its intervention area and supports the dissemination of the initiative.
European Waste Prevention Week. The theme this year aims to alert to the need to reduce consumption and prolong the life of objects. The aim is to raise public awareness of the need for waste reduction and this initiative is an incentive to reduce the amount of waste produced in Europe.
Resulima, Valorminho and Suldouro, EGF concessionaires from the north of the country, implemented the Summer with Value campaign on all beaches covered by its concession. The result was so positive, it turned it into a movie! Beyond the 77 tonnes of recoverable waste collected, good practice extends to broader environmental issues, and we all have to gain. This event, organized by APESB for more than two decades, has proved to be an important meeting point for industry professionals.
This year's edition was supported by the Lisbon City Council and focused on changing the paradigm of a linear to circular economy and what concrete solutions can be implemented. In addition to the special theme, the Journeys will also address Waste Management Operators Licensing, Selective waste collection and Evaluation of returnable tare models.
On the 18th, a day especially dedicated to the city of Lisbon, it was possible to discuss with the town councils and parish and with the city organizations, models and best practices to be implemented to improve the management of the city. Ana Loureiro, Communication Director of EGF, presented the latest communication campaigns and citizen motivation strategies, moving to assume her role as resource manager.
The event also featured MasterClass trainings dedicated to the themes Performance Indicators, Incentives and Wastewater Sludge, as well as two panels on urban cleanliness that will detail innovation and development issues and communication campaigns. More information at: www.
About 14 tonnes of recyclable waste, including 7 tonnes of glass, 5. The recyclables collected during the 9 days of the event by the company ALGAR, EGF concessionaire in the Algarve region, after being weighed and 'measured', gave rise to a thousand euros, which Vilamoura Sailing, the organizer of the competition in partnership with the company.
Inframoura, made a point of handing it over to the Quarteira Child Support Center. It was the first time that a sailing championship has been awarded the 'Eco-Event' distinction awarded by Algar and has resulted, among other actions, in the production of bags of recycled fabric, made from canvas, canvas, billboards and mupi, which they functioned as eco-points garbage separation and were placed on coaches' vessels.
In these eco-points, all the test sailors deposited, daily, not only the recyclable packaging they were producing, but also the recyclable ones that made a point of collecting from the sea. The World Cup was a test event in this regard and its success was proven. The logistics coordination of the program during the World Championship was performed by Inframoura and also involved the services of Marina de Vilamoura, where Algar daily collected containers with recyclable waste.
In this event the usual plastic bottles were also replaced by aluminum bottles and the prizes awarded were all produced in cork from cork oaks in the region. Valorsul, EGF Concessionaire in the Lisbon and West regions, foresees that by the end of this year, about 91, tons of recyclable materials will be collected in its municipalities. This improvement in the region's environmental performance is due to greater environmental awareness, a strong investment in new ecopoints, vehicles and sorting centers and to campaigns to encourage recycling that Valorsul and the municipalities have been developing together.
Between and Valorsul's investment plan amounts to 45 million euros with the aim of improving the company's public waste management service, of which 16 million are investments in selective collection and sorting of recyclables. In addition to the environmental benefits, the increase in selective collection also represents an effective saving for the 19 municipalities.
The strategy followed by Valorsul and the municipalities was to approximate, as much as possible, the number of ecopoints to the number of undifferentiated waste containers. The results show that the ecopoint collection option remains a good solution and allows families the freedom to deposit 24 hours a day. Selective collection of bioresidues - food and garden waste - has been done in collaboration with municipalities for 12 years.
This material is transformed by Valorsul into compost for agriculture. In order to meet the demanding national and community targets, Valorsul and the municipalities in the coming years intend to increase this selective collection - which is currently focused mainly on restaurants and markets - and also to include families in this separation. Given the expected increase in the amount of segregated biogas, Valorsul will apply for an investment of 9.
Valorlis, EGF concessionaire in the region of Leiria, within the scope of the Ecovalor program and awareness of the importance of recycling, challenged the entire population to participate in the 9th Bike Tour dedicated to selective collection. The bike ride took place on October 20th with a concentration at Valorlis at 9 am.
The tour was aimed at the entire population, for all ages, with two easy and affordable routes - a shorter one of only 10 km and a 30 km route. The tour ended at Valorlis, followed by a convivial lunch and entertainment for the children. Registration was free but required. Each participant brought on the day of the tour six packs of plastic, metal, glass, carton or cartons for liquid food and deposited in the ecopoint that was at the place of departure.
Recycle Bingo has reached Resulima's intervention area! Resulima is a reference company in the environmental sector, being responsible for recycling and treating urban waste of more than , thousand inhabitants. We are sure that this association of Resulima with Recycle BinGo will help us all to meet the important recycling goals that Portugal faces in the short term. For this to happen, this news needs to spread.
In addition to the planetarium in the exhibition space, available to all participants, Ana Loureiro, Director of Communication, presentes on October 8th the most recent environmental communication campaigns, with the presentation The role of citizens. Strategies and Communication Campaigns on the How to Raise Public Acceptance for Waste Management Projects panel; and moderating the session on Citizen Awareness, a key to sustainable and effective waste management.
The meeting was marked by the presentation and sharing of communication campaigns devoted to the topic of waste, but also by the discussion of ISWA's own communication strategy, which is in a transition and change phase this year. Representatives from countries such as England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary and Oman attended this meeting.
Recycle BinGo finally arrives in the northern region of the country, through Valorminho. In addition to this main mission, the application is launching surprise special missions in order to improve the Portuguese knowledge about recycling, maintain involvement with Recycle BinGo. Valorminho is a reference company in the environmental sector, being responsible for recycling and treating over 33, tons of waste, serving 6 municipalities and over 73, inhabitants.
We are sure that this association of Valorminho with Recycle BinGo will help us all meet the important recycling goals that Portugal faces in the short term. Aimed at the general population, but with a special focus on children who go to the beach with their holiday camps, the initiative has raised awareness of good environmental practices and the importance of proper separation of packaging waste, totaling over holiday organizers, 22, children and 91, people in total.
Running during this school year, this initiative is dedicated to making known the good environmental practices among the school community, distinguishing, with a monetary prize, the good environmental behaviors. The schools in each municipality that recycle the most will be rewarded with a higher value.
Nationwide, in the ECOVALUE Program carried out nearly 8, awareness actions and involved , participants across the country, contributing to the collection of 1, tonnes of waste, of which tonnes were plastic and metal, tonnes of glass and tons of paper and cardboard. Aimed at the general population, but with a special focus on children who go to the beach with their holiday camps, the initiative has raised awareness of good environmental practices and the importance of proper separation of packaging waste, totaling over holiday organizers , 22, children and 91, people in total.
Nationwide, in the ECOVALOR Program carried out nearly 8, awareness actions and involved , participants across the country, contributing to the collection of 1, tonnes of waste, of which tonnes were plastic and metal, tonnes of glass and tons of paper and cardboard. Environmental awareness monitors were present in this Pilgrimage which, together with the 30 volunteers of the Local Bank of Volunteering, approached traders and party participants to promote the improvement of waste separation by encouraging the use of ecopoints and 19 structures.
Different environmental awareness equipment and materials were distributed to traders and the general public, making them aware of the importance of their behavior. As a result of these awareness actions it was possible to collect more than eight tons of valuable waste in this EcoEvento. The new Resiestrela Door to Door collection service, implemented in 4 municipalities, collected 77 tonnes in the first 6 months.
This service, implemented in the municipalities of Almeida, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Fornos de Algodres and Meda, has collected around 40 tons of paper and cardboard, 9 tons of plastic and metal packaging and 28 tons of glass and already has more than tons adhering establishments. With this service, these materials can be valued, with benefit to the environment and the consequent reduction of their treatment costs borne by the Municipality.
This service is performed free of charge to the user entities, by a duly identified car and Resiestrela employees and will be provided weekly at shops and services wishing to adhere to door-to-door collection of recyclable materials. Resiestrela believes that by promoting environmental awareness among entrepreneurs and traders, it will allow, through a collective effort, an increase in materials recycling, improving the Quality of Life of each one of us.
Sustainability had a fundamental weight in the entire organization of the event, being exemplary in the management of waste produced in the enclosure - from its prevention, reuse and recycling to the environmental awareness of all participants and stakeholders. Valorminho developed an environmental awareness campaign during the festival, which was attended by environmental awareness monitors who approached all festival-goers in order to promote the improvement of waste separation during the event, as well as encourage the implementation of these practices on the day.
As a result of these awareness actions, it was possible to collect 4. Valorlis, the EGF concessionaire in the Leiria region, has advanced to the second phase of placing the ecological islands in Marinha Grande this week. The Ecological Islands Project - Proximity Collection is a pilot project that aims to bring ecopoints closer to the population, provide means for separation in places where it is difficult to place ecopoints and increase the amount of waste sent for recycling.
This proximity collection project started in July where 53 ecological islands containers were placed. The second phase of container placement began this week with the placement of 96 more ecological islands containers in the towns of Amieirinha, Guarda Nova, Camarnal, Comeira, Fonte Santa, Ordem, Cima, Pedra de Baixo and Portela, following this September, the remaining 57 islands containers will be placed in Embra. It was at Valorsul that Portugal saw the birth of its first energy recovery center and, years later, the first station to treat selectively collected biowaste.
VALORSUL's future will continue to be through strong investment in innovation and commitment to the highest quality standards, through innovative awareness-raising strategies, increased capacity for selective collection, growth in the selective collection of organic matter and optimization of treatment infrastructures.
Since the end of , Amarsul has been strengthening its network of ecopoints, bringing recyclable containers closer to the population in order to make recycling of these wastes more convenient. Amarsul is committed to increasingly providing better service to the population by making more containers available for the disposal of recyclable waste and improving the quality of service, thereby reducing waste that is sent to landfill.
Valorminho collected 20 tons of recyclable waste at the Vodafone Paredes de Coura Festival, which took place from 14 to 17 August. This is an ECOEVENT with a track record, where sustainability has a fundamental weight throughout the organization of the event, being exemplary with regard to the management of waste produced in the enclosure - from its prevention, reuse and recycling to the environmental awareness of all participants.
The 27th edition of the Vodafone Paredes de Coura Festival, is marked by the historical collection of Valorminho - 20 tons of recyclable waste! Recycle BinGo arrived in the north central region of the country, by Resinorte.
Resinorte, a reference company in the environmental sector, is responsible for recycling and treating over thousand tons of waste, serving 35 municipalities and approximately 1 million inhabitants. We are sure that this association of Resinorte with Recycle BinGo will help us all meet the important recycling goals that Portugal faces in the short term.
To facilitate the separation of waste in the households covered, Amarsul offers two free containers: one for the disposal of paper and one for metal and plastic packaging, so that the process of waste separation is simpler and more comfortable for citizens. About 51, containers will be available. Since the end of , Amarsul has been strengthening its network of ecopoints, bringing recyclable containers closer to the population in order to make it easier to separate and dispose of these wastes.
This reinforcement has been made with containers with a capacity of 1,l where 1, gares, ecopoints and glass bottles were built. By the end of , a total of 8, containers of 1,l, 1, ecopoints and 1, glass bottles will be placed. In order to collect these new equipment it was also necessary to increase the fleet so that new vehicles were purchased, 3 for collection for trade and services and 15 for domestic collection, in addition to the admission of new workers.
In this context, Amarsul is promoting awareness raising activities around the ecological islands, where dedicated teams clarify all doubts regarding the separation of recyclable waste, helping citizens to verify that the waste they are depositing in the containers is correctly separated. At the end of the awareness action, a free gift is available. With the correct separation of recyclables by citizens, less waste is sent to landfill, and everyone benefits: there will be less tons of waste subject to the disposal fee paid by the Municipalities and more will be the quantities selectively collected by Amarsul.
Valnor, a reference company in the environmental sector, is responsible for recycling and treating over , tons of waste, serving 25 municipalities and over , inhabitants. We are sure that this Valnor association with Recycle BinGo will help us all meet the important recycling goals that Portugal faces in the short term. Resulima, an EGF concessionaire in the northern region of Portugal, together with the Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, developed an environmental awareness campaign during the Nossa Senhora da Lapa Festivities that took place in the Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, making it an EcoEvent.
This initiative took place on August 8, 9 and 10 and were present at these parties environmental awareness monitors who approached traders and party participants to promote the improvement of waste separation during the event, as well as encourage the implementation of these.
Different environmental awareness equipment and materials were distributed to traders and the population, making them aware of the importance of their behavior. As a result of these awareness actions, it was possible to collect more than one ton of valuable waste in the 3 days of this EcoEvent. Green "ecopoints" have built-in fill level sensors, which will allow you to collect information about your fill and adjust the collection time in real time, thus ensuring an improvement in the quality of service provided.
The sensors use ultrasound technology to measure container volume in real time and have a very innovative communications system that allows very reliable data to be sent with very low power consumption. Amarsul is committed to increasingly providing a better service to the population by providing more containers for the disposal of recyclable waste, thus reducing the waste that is sent to landfill.
Algar, an EGF concessionaire in the Algarve region, has launched a new awareness-raising campaign on selective packaging separation, with the aim of encouraging the use of ecopoints by residents and visitors in the region during the summer. The initiative was created based on the concept: In Algarve be Algarvian, recycle! For a local visitor the issue of recycling is something of everyday life, where the habit of separating at home may already be rooted, but that on vacation often falls into oblivion.
For an Algarvian to go to Ecoponto means to preserve their land, since the recyclable materials that can be placed in the ecoponto are not landfilled. The campaign thus shows the Algarvians' pride in the good results of recycling and reminds visitors to travel to Ecoponto during their holidays, showing both that recycling is very serious in the Algarve. Recycling is also our beach….. The Algarvians have over ecopoints available…. In Algarve Be Algarve: Separate.
Recycling is also part of our nature…. The Algarvians separate more than 38 thousand tons of waste per year…. Recycling is also part of our culture…. The Algarvians separate more than 15 thousand tons of glass per year…. The images chosen to illustrate the campaign are visual references from the Algarve and allow to easily associate the message and concept of the campaign with the most attractive points sought in the region.
The company stresses that the objective of this action is to raise awareness of the importance of forest protection, especially given the numerous fires that have been felt in our country and in the region in particular. The consequences affect biodiversity, sometimes by extinguishing plants and animals, baring soils that in extreme atmospheric conditions, such as heavy rainfall, suffer entrainment and loss of land.
The initiative thus intends to encourage the Algarvians to plant a tree, as a way to contribute to the increase of vegetal coverage of the region. Its excellent quality promotes higher yields in agricultural crops. Currently they are made in bulk and in a big bag packaging with about kg. For more information see the website www.
People living in the surroundings of each of these five sites can participate by handing over their organic waste to be turned into natural fertilizer. The resulting compost will be offered to users or used by the municipality itself. This initiative allows the reduction of the amount of waste deposited in municipal containers while valuing the organic matter present in municipal waste.
In addition to the community composter itself, the project promoted by Valorsul ensured the training of the municipal staff responsible for the composters and developed a communication and awareness campaign for the practice of community composting, aimed at the population living in the surroundings of each of the five sites. This initiative responds to the growing number of citizens with environmental concerns in their daily lives who are willing to change their behavior and contribute to reducing their ecological footprint.
Central Park of Amadora. Ribeirada Integrated Park, Odivelas. Green Park of the Cruzeiro Hills, Odivelas. Pedagogical Farm of Olivais, Lisbon. Ecobundy Garden, Vila Franca de Xira. ERSUC, EGF's concessionaire in the central region, and the Albergaria-a-Velha City Council, have established a partnership for door-to-door collection of recyclable waste in commercial establishments, services and schools, with the aim of diverting recyclables from undifferentiated waste stream.
The implementation of the project on the ground involved the teams of ERSUC and the Municipality, with sensitization to the establishments, which were made available green, blue and yellow bags to collect respectively glass, paper and cardboard and plastic and metal packaging, later collected. After 2 months in the field, with more than schools and 25 participating schools, 7. It also had an awareness raising action for campers, dedicated to the good practices of prevention, reuse and recycling of waste.
The organization of the Super Bock Super Rock festival by collaborating in the monitoring and evaluation of results regarding the waste produced contributed decisively to the diversion of landfill waste by implementing good environmental practices. In addition, the organization has established partnerships with the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests, the environmental association Quercus and Sociedade Ponto Verde.
At the end of the event, the results were over 8 tons of packaging for recycling: 4,kg of plastic and metal, 2,kg of paper and cardboard and 1,kg of glass, produced by about 80, visitors in just 4 days. Mota-Engil published the Sustainability Report, a publication to which EGF and the various concessionaires contributed specific information about their activity.
In this publication you can find specific Environmental, Social and Economic information on waste treatment and recovery activities, among other useful information in the various sectors in which the Mota-Engil Group operates. For more information and download: Mota-Engil Sustainability Report. The Environmental cause this year joined hands in solidarity, the joint could not have been better!
It starts on July 15 and ends only on September There are about actions for all ages and throughout the country, always in the company of experts. It is the third consecutive year that Algar is invited to participate. Visitors will be accompanied by a technician who will show the processes of recovery and treatment of the various types of municipal waste received at these facilities, namely: sorting and forwarding of recyclable packaging to the recycling industry; the confinement of undifferentiated waste in Landfill; the treatment and valorization of the biogas in the Energy Enhancement Unit and the treatment and valorization of the Green Residues in the Composting Unit, where they are transformed into an organic compound.
Take the invitation, take the science in your suitcase on vacation. Visits to Algar's facilities are subject to prior registration. The objective of this campaign has been to collect plastic, metal and ECAL recyclable packaging cartons for liquid food and with its sale to purchase food products suitable for children up to 36 months of age. The results of allowed us to obtain sufficient funds to purchase approximately food potatoes, adapted to the specific nutritional needs of children in this age group, which will be delivered to families supported by the Algarve Food Bank.
The BACF also contributes with 19, meals that are prepared daily by 63 institutions breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. Campaign balance over last 5 years. The result of this initiative has been very positive, so it will continue until August 31, , when it will end to give rise to "tons of aid", a project that will be released by Algar later this year.
Until then, all those who wish to collaborate with the "Separar para Alimentar", will be able to deliver the empty packages at Algar's facilities, which are distributed throughout the Algarve region www. Advantages of Recycling for the Environment - Curiosities. The separation of packaging for recycling allows saving natural resources, but without the collaboration of all will be impossible to succeed. The 44, kg of plastic containers that were sent for recycling during these five years of the campaign allow the production of sufficient raw material polyester to produce 54, polyester sweaters or 88, pairs of polyester pants.
So contribute, be part of this cycle, always separate and everywhere! This project - selective proximity collection - is a pilot project that aims to bring ecopoints closer to the population, provide means for separation in locations where there is difficulty in placing ecopoints and increase the amount of waste sent for recycling. In some areas of Marinha Grande this reinforcement will be done by replacing traditional ecopoints with smaller containers, placed closer to each dwelling and in greater numbers, "explains Marta Guerreiro, Valorlis' Delegate Administrator.
Provision is made for the proximity collection of containers ecological islands for the separation of the recyclable waste by the population, collected with a specific collection vehicle with the following phasing:. The areas covered in this project are residential areas with a greater density of small dwellings and areas where there is difficulty in the placement and collection of traditional ecopoints.
Our vessel swings round and reveals to us on the opposite shore the city of Praia Grande, the parti-colored cliff of St. Domingo, and upon a mere rock, which seems a fragment of the adjoining shore, the little church of Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem, in which Roman Catholic voyagers are supposed to pay their vows, and around which many graceful palm-trees are nodding in the cool ocean-breeze. While awaiting the visit of the custom-house officers we remain upon deck, and tire not of scenes so novel and exciting.
White sails are dotting the bay as far as the eye can reach, while all around us the serried masts of Brazilian and foreign vessels are evidences that we are in the midst of a vast and busy mart. The night soon succeeds the short twilight of the tropics, and the city from our ship seems like a land of fairy enchantment. Brilliancy and novelty do not end with the day. Innumerable gaslights line the immense borders of the city down to the very edge of the bay, and are reflected back from the water in a thousand quivering flashes.
The very forms of the hills themselves are defined amid the darkness by rows of lamps extending over their verdure-clad summits, and seem like the fabled star-bridges of an Arabian tale. When we look above us we behold new constellations spangling the heavens, and their queen is the Southern Cross, guarded by her silent and mysterious attendants, the Majellan Clouds.
The Great Bear has long since been hidden from us; but just peeping over the natural ramparts of the Organ Mountains, we see an old and a welcome friend in that beaming Orion, who here loses none of his northern splendor, and does not even pale before his rival of the Southern Hemisphere. Amid such scenes who could close their eyelids in sleep? Kidder on one occasion, returning from the northern provinces, entered the harbor at nightfall during a squall, and thus describes the scene:"We passed close under the walls of Fort Santa Cruz; but, just as the vessel was in the most critical part of the passage, the wind lulled, and the current of the ebbing tide swept her back, and by degrees carried her over toward the rocks upon which Fort Lage is constructed.
The moment was one of great excitement and danger. Our situation was perceived at the forts, which severally fired guns, and burned white and blue lights, in order to show us their position. The rolling thunders of the cannon were echoed back by the surrounding mountain-peaks, and the brilliant glare of the artificial flames appeared the more intense in the midst of unusual darkness.
Happily for the vessel and all on board, the wind freshened in time, and we were borne gallantly up to the man-of-war anchorage, where, at nine o'clock, we were lying moored to not less than seventy fathoms of chain. This circumstance heightened the beauty of the city and the effect of her thousand lamps, which were seen brightly burning at measured intervals over the hills and praias of her farstretching suburbs.
One young man was so enchanted with the novelty and splendor of the scene, that he remained on deck all night to gaze upon it, notwithstanding rain fell at intervals. Thou wert not sent for slumber. I have again and again entered and quitted the Bay of Rio de Janeiro when the billows were surging and when the calm mantled the deep; and, whether in the purple light of a tropic morning, in the garish noon, or in the too brief twilight of that Southern clime, it has always presented to me new glories and new charms.
It has been my privilege to look upon some of the most celebrated scenes of both hemispheres; but I have never found one which combined so much to be admired as the panorama which we have attempted to describe. On the Height of St. Elmo I have drank in as much of beauty from that curvilinear bay of Southern Italy, upon whose bosom float the isles of Capri and Ischia, and upon whose margin nestle the gracefully-shaped Vesuvius, the long arm of Sorrento, and the proverbially-brilliant city of Naples.
T have seen very great variety in the blue, isle-dotted Bay of Panama; and I have beheld in the Alps, and in the western entrance to the Straits of Majellan, where the black, jagged Andes are rent asunder, scenes of wildness and sublimitywithout parallel; but, all things considered, I have yet to gaze upon a scene which surpasses, in combined beauty, variety, and grandeur, the mountain-engirdled Nitherohy.
The above impressions were penned before I had read, with a single exception, one of the many detailed descriptions of the Bay of Rio de Janeiro; and it occurred to me that those who had never seen the natural beauties of this region would not give ready assent to its exaltation above so many other places famous for their scenery. Such might say, "He is an enthusiast, an exaggerator. Though the works may be devoted to history, science, commerce, or to the epistolary correspondence of friends, in this respect they all bear a resemblance; for all draw the same portrait and from the same original.
Indeed, when reading the description given by the late lamented English botanist, Gardner, I half suspected myself a plagiarist, though I had never read his interesting and truly valuable travels until my own account was written. Describing the entrance of the harbor, this naturalist says,"Passing through the magnificent portal of the bay, we came to an anchor a few miles below the city, not being allowed to proceed farther until visited by the authorities.
It is quite impossible to express the feelings which arise in the mind while the eye surveys the beautifully-varied scenery which is disclosed on entering the harbor,-scenery which is perhaps unequalled on the face of the earth, and on the production of which nature seems to have exerted all her energies. Since then I have visited many places celebrated for their beauty and their grandeur, but none of them have left a like impression on my mind. As far up the bay as the eye could reach, lovely little verdant and palm-clad islands were to be seen rising out of its dark bosom; while the hills and lofty mountains which surround it on all sides, gilded by the rays of the setting sun, formed a befitting frame for such a picture.
At night the lights of the city had a fine effect; and when the land-breeze began to blow, the rich odor of the orange and other perfumed flowers was borne seaward along with it, and, by me at least, enjoyed the more from having been so long shut out from the companionship of flowers. Ceylon has been celebrated by voyagers for its spicy odors; but I have twice made its shores, with a landbreeze blowing, without experiencing any thing half so sweet as those which greeted my arrival at Rio.
Stewart is valuable in showing the impressions of this magnificent bay upon one who had, since his first visit to Brazil, viewed some of the most renowned scenes in the world:"I was anxious to test the fidelity of the impressions received.
The early light of the morning quickly determined the point. I was hurried to the deck by a message from Lieutenant ZR, already there, and do not recollect ever to have been impressed with higher admiration by any picture in still life than by the group of mountains and the coast-scene meeting my eyes on the left. The wildness and sublimity of outline of the Pao de Assucar, Duos Irmaos, Gavia, and Corcovado, and their fantastic combinations, from the point at which we viewed them, can scarce be rivalled; while the richness and beauty of coloring thrown over and around the whole, in purple and gold, rose-color, and ethereal blue, were all that the varied and glowing tints of the rising day ever impart.
No fancy-sketch of fairy-land could surpass this scene, and we stood gazing upon it as if fascinated by the work of a master-hand. While Brazil embraces a greater territorial dominion than any other country of the New World, together with natural advantages second to none on the globe, the position, the scenery, and the increasing magnitude of its capital render it a metropolis worthy of the empire.
Rio de Janeiro is the largest city of South America, the third in size on the Western Continent, and boasts an antiquity greater than that of any city in the United States. Its harbor is situatedl just within the borders of the Southern Torrid Zone, and communicates, as before described, with the wide-rolling Atlantic, by a deep and narrow passage between two granite mountains.
This entrance is so safe as to render the services of a pilot entirely unnecessary. So commanding, however, is the position of the various fortresses at the mouth of the harbor upon its islands and on the surrounding heights, that, if efficiently manned by a body of determined men, they might defy the hostile ingress of the proudest navies in the world. Once within this magnificent bay of Nitherohy, the wanderer. The aspect which Rio de Janeiro presents to the beholder bears no resemblance to the compact brick walls, the dingy roofs, the tall chimneys, and the generally-even sites of our Northern cities.
Its surface is diversified by hills of irregular but picturesque shape, which shoot up in different directions, leaving between them flat intervals of greater or less extent. Along the bases of these hills, and up their sides, stand rows of buildings, whose whitened walls and red-tiled roofs are in happy contrast with the deep-green foliage that always surrounds and often embowers them. The most prominent eminence, almost in front of us, is the Morro do Castello, which overlooks the mouth of the harbor, and on which is the tall signal-staff that announces, in connection with the telegraph on Babylonia Hill, the nation, class, and position of every vessel that appears in the offing.
Upon our right we see the convent-crowned hill of San Bento; and if we could have a bird'seye view from a point midway between the turrets of the convent and the signal-staff of Morro do Castello, we should see the city spread beneath us, with its streets, steeples, and towers, its public edifices, parks, and vermillion chimneyless roofs, and its aqueducts spanning the spaces between the seven green hills, constituting a gigantic mosaic, bordered upon one side by the mountains, and on the other by the blue waters of the bay.
From the central portion of the city the suburbs extend about four miles in each of the three principal directions, so that the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, containing three hundred thousand inhabitants, covers a greater extent of ground than any European city of the same population.
Here dwell a large part of the nobility of the nation, and, for a considerable portion of the year, the representatives of the different provinces, the ministers of state, the foreign ambassadors and consuls, and a commingled populace of native Brazilians and of foreigners from almost every clime. That which in the popular estimation, however, confers the greatest distinction upon Rio, is not the busy throng of foreign and home merchants, sea-captains, ordinary Government-officials, and the upper classes of society; but it is in the fact that here resides the imperial head of Brazil, the.
Attractive as may be the natural scenery and the beauties of art abounding in any country, it must be confessed that human existence, with its weal or woe, involves a far deeper interest. And the traveller but poorly accomplishes his task of delineating the present, if he leaves unattempted some sketches of the history of the past as an introduction to the scenes and events which have come under his own observation. After glancing rapidly at some of the most striking sights and customs of Rio de Janeiro, I shall introduce a brief sketch of its past history.
THE stranger who, with anxious expectation, has paced the deck of his vessel as it lies at anchor under Villegagnon, knows no more welcome sound than the permission from the Custom-House and health officers to land and roam through the city which for hours before his eyes have visited. The blacks who have come from the shore now return, pulling their heavy boat lustily along, for they are sure of a treble price from the newly-arrived.
Who that has visited Rio de Janeiro will not at a glance recognise the landingplace depicted in the engraving? Hotel Pharoux, the Palace Stairs, and the Largo do Pago, Palace Square, are associated with Rio de Janeiro in the mind of every foreign naval officer who has been on But changes have taken place, and greater are in contemplation, among this slow-moving people.
Hotel Pharoux still lifts its white walls; but it is modernized, and the old restaurant and stable in the basement have given way to shell-merchants and feather-flower dealers, and the dining-room is upon the second floor. We no longer land at the Palace Stairs, where formerly at flood-tide the waters of the bay dashed and foamed against the stone parapet which at this point marked their limit. The square has been extended into the waves, and soon the Government will have fine quays along the whole water-edge in this part of the city.
Instead of the old granite steps, we ascend the wooden stairs at the end of a long jetty. Here our boat has arrived, amid odors that certainly have not been wafted from "Araby the blest," and we learn that the sewerage of Rio is a portable instead of an underground affair. The sense of hearing, too, is wounded by the confused jabbering of blacks in the language of C'gngo, the shouts of Portuguese boat-owners, and by the oaths of American and English sailors.
Once clear of this throng, what novel sights and sounds astonish us I A hackney-coachman, in glazed hat and red vest, invites us to a ride to the Botanical Gardens; a smart-looking mulatto points to his "Hansom" hard by the Hotel de France. Before their words are ended, the roll of drums and the blast of bugles attract our attention in another direction.
There, in front of the old palace, is drawn up a handful of the National Guard, composed of every imaginable complexion, from white to African; and now, as every day at noon, they remove their helmets, listen for a moment with religious veneration to the strain of music which the black trumpeters puff out from swelling cheeks, and then resume, with the exception of the sentinels, their difficult task of loitering in the corridors of the huge building, or basking in the sunshine, until another sound of the bugle shall call them to change guard or fall into ranks at vespers.
We are not yet ready to try the vehicles of Rio de Janeiro; so we dismiss our would-be coachmen, and look around us in the Largo do Pago. At the Palace Square the stranger finds himself surrounded by a throng as diverse in habits and appearance, and as variegated in. The majority of the crowd are Africans, who collect around the fountain to obtain water, which flows from a score of pipes, and, when caught in tubs or barrels, is borne off upon the heads of both males and females.
The slaves go barefooted, but some of them are gayly dressed. Their sociability when congregated in these resorts is usually extreme, but sometimes it ends in differences and blows. To prevent disorders of this kind, soldiers are generally stationed near the fountains, who are pretty sure to maintain their authority over the unresisting blacks.
The Palace is a large stone building, exhibiting the old Portuguese. It was long used as a residence by the viceroys, and for a time by Dom John VI. The buildings at the rear of the Palace Square represented on the left of the engraving were all erected for ecclesiastical purposes. The oldest was a Franciscan convent, but has long since been connected with the Palace, and used for secular purposes.
The old chapel, with its short, thick tower, remains, but has been superseded, in popularity as well as in splendor, by the more recently-erected imperial chapel, which, without belfry, stands at its right. Adjoining the imperial chapel is that of the third order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is daily open, and is used as a cathedral.
The steeples of this church during certain festivals are illuminated to the very crosses, and present a splendid appearance from the shipping. The streets of the city are generally quite narrow; but the Rua Direita, which is seen in the above cut beyond the Largo do Pago, is wide, and well paved with small square blocks of stone which are brought from the Isle of Wight.
The Rua Direita and many of the principal streets of Rio de Janeiro are now as well paved as the finest thoroughfares of London or Vienna, presenting a great contrast to the former irregular and miserable pavement, which was in use up to The Rua Direita and the Largo do Rocio are the points whence omnibuses start for every portion of the vast city and its suburbs.
The houses seldom exceed three or four stories; but a four-story house at Rio is equal in height to one of five in New York. Formerly nearly all were occupied as dwellings, and even in the streets devoted to business the first floors only were appropriated to the storage and display of goods, while families resided above.
But since this has greatly changed in the quarter where the wholesale houses are found: proprietors and clerks now reside in the picturesque suburbs of Botafogo, Engenho Yelho, and across the bay at Praia Grande or San Domingo. Every evening presents an animated spectacle of crowded steamers, full omnibuses, and galloping horses and mules, all conveying the negociantes and caxeiros bookkeepers to their respective residences.
The distant steeples on our left are those of the Church of. Candelaria, which is situated on a narrow street back from the Rua Direita. It is the largest church in the city, and presents taller spires and a handsomer front than any other. This building, formerly a part of the Custom-House, was ceded by Government for its present purposes in It contains a reading-room, supplied with Brazilian and foreign newspapers, and is subject to the usual regulations of such an establishment in other cities.
Beneath its spacious portico the merchants of eight or nine different nations meet each other in the morning to interchange salutations and to negotiate their general business. The Exchange is not far from the Custom-House, which formerly had its main entrance adjoining the Praca. Nothing can be more animated and peculiar than the scenes which are witnessed in this part of the Rua Direita during the business-hours of the day,-viz.
It is in these hours only that vessels are permitted to discharge and receive their cargoes, and at the same time all goods and baggage must be despatched at the Custom-House and removed therefrom. Consequent upon such arrangements, the utmost activity is required to remove the goods despatched, and to embark those productions of the country that are daily required in the transactions of a vast commercial emporium.
There are the black-coated merchants. The team consists of five stalwart Africans pushing, pulling, steering, and shouting as they make their way amid the serried throng, unmindful of the Madeira Islander, who, with an imprecation and a crack of his whip, urges on a thundering mule-cart laden with boxes.
Now an omnibus thunders through the crowd, and a large four-wheeled wagon, belonging to some company for the transportation of "goods," crashes in its wake. Formerly all this labor was performed by human hands, and scarcely a cart or a dray was used in the city, unless, indeed, it was drawn by negroes. While we are almost stunned by the sounds of the multitude, we have a new source of wonderment. Above all the confusion of the Rua Direita, we hear a stentorian chorus of voices responding in quick measure to the burden of a song.
We behold, over the heads of the throng, a line of white sacks rushing around the corner of the Rua de Alfandega, Custom-House Street. We hasten to that portion of Rua Direita, and now see that these sacks have each a living ebony Hercules beneath. These are the far-famed coffeecarriers of Rio. They usually go in troops, numbering ten or. These are generally the largest and strongest men that can be found.
While at work they seldom wear any other garment than a pair of short pantaloons; their shirt is thrown aside for the time as an encumbrance. Each one takes a bag of coffee upon his head, weighing one hundred and sixty pounds, and, when all are ready, they start off upon a measured trot, which soon increases to a rapid run. As one hand is sufficient to steady the load, several of them frequently carry musical instruments in the other, resembling children's rattle-boxes: these they shake to the double-quick time of some wild Ethiopian ditty, which they all join in singing as they run.
Music has a powerful effect in exhilarating the spirits of the negro; and certainly no one should deny him the privilege of softening his hard lot by producing the harmony of sounds which are sweet to him, though uncouth to other ears. It is said, however, that an attempt was at one time made to secure greater quietness in the streets by forbidding them to sing. As a consequence, they performed little or no work; so the restriction was in a short time taken off.
Certain it is that they now avail themselves of their vocal privileges at pleasure, whether in singing and shouting to each other as they run, or in proclaiming to the people the various articles they carry about for sale. The impression made upon the stranger by the mingled sound of their hundred voices falling upon his ear at once is not soon forgotten. We will not stop to trace the origin of this word and many others in the Portuguese tongue beginning with Al, to their Moorish origin, but will immediately inform the reader that it is the first word he learns in Brazil, and one which, in various languages, most travellers in foreign countries have occasion to remember.
This is the Custom-House. We enter a vast hall of fine architecture, lighted by a graceful dome. There are hundreds of despatchers, merchants, and officers. But what a contrast to the noisy multi. All are uncovered, and, as each enters the hall, the hat is removed and not replaced until the portico is again reached. What a capital discipline for Anglo-American visitors and for English and North American shipmasters, whose head-coverings seem to be a portion of their corporeal existence!
I once heard Albert Smith, in one of his delightful conversaziones, say that in foreign lands an Englishman considers it a part of the British constitution not to take off his hat except when "God save the Queen" may accidentally fall upon his ear. The Brazilian is very strict in the outward observance of politeness; and, as he would never enter a private residence without removing his hat, so he considers that he should not enter any of the edifices belonging to the Government of his Emperor without showing the same respect.
In the centre of the hall, on an elevated platform, is the chiefcollector, who is constantly engaged in signing despatches and various other custom-house papers, which are noiselessly handed him by sub-officers and clerks. Paio Vianna, of Bahia, who, though strict and almost rigorous in the administration of his office, is a gentleman of great intelligence and amenity of manner.
He takes a deep interest in the finances of the empire, and his annual statement is clear and full of important information to the commercial statistician. His predecessor was Sr. Ferraz, to whom is greatly due the immense reforms that have taken place in the custom-house of Rio de Janeiro. Formerly it was most corruptly administered: bribery was the rule and not the exception.
To this day some most wonderful stories are told of the year , when the treaty between England and Brazil expired, by limitation, in the month of November. Bales, bags, and boxes went through the Custom-House with astonishing rapidity; and there is a tradition that the entire cargo of a schooner entered the rear of the Alfandega, and in a remarkably short time emerged from the Portao Grande, Great Door.
But there is no longer opportunity for such abuses; and the largest custom-house of the empire is as well conducted as those of Germany or France. At the left of the chief-collector, in the rear of a row of supporting columns,-is the guarde mor,-Sr. Leopoldo Augusto da. Camara Lima, who is known to every ship-captain as Senhor Leopoldo.
This gentleman, who speaks the English language most fluently, has been arrayed on the liberal side of Brazilian politics for the last twenty years, and was in the front rank of those who condemn the African slave-trade, which was so completely abolished in The vast warehouses of the Alfandega extend quite to the seaside. Once out of boats or lighters, they are distributed and stored in respective departments, until a requisition is formally made for their examination and despatch. The removal of the various articles within the Custom-House, as well as their transportation to the great door of exit, is facilitated by means of small iron railways extending to every portion of the many buildings.
That troublesome delays should occasionally occur in the despatch of goods and baggage is not surprising to any one acquainted with the tedious formalities required by the laws; nor would it be strange, if, among the host of empregados or sub-officers connected with this establishment upon very limited pay, some are occasionally found who will embarrass your business at every step until their favor is conciliated by a direct or indirect appropriation of money to their benefit; but this is more rare than formerly.
Most of the large commercial houses have a despatching-clerk, whose especial business it is to attend upon the Alfandega; and the stranger who is unaccustomed to the language and customs of the country will always avoid much inconvenience by obtaining the services of one of these persons. From my own experience in passing books and baggage through the different custom-houses of Brazil, I am prepared to say that a person who understands and endeavors to conform to the laws of the country may expect in similar circumstances to meet with kind treatment and all reasonable accommodations.
But should you succeed in getting through the portao grande about the time that huge door is being closed up for the day, you will witness a lively scene. Boxes, bales, and packages of every species of goods, cases of furniture, pipes of wine, and coils of rope, lie heaped together in a confusion only equalled by the crowd of clerks, feitors, and negroes, who block up the whole Rua Direita in their rush to obtain possession of their several portions, and in their vociferations to hasten the removal of their merchandise.
We are perhaps wishing to expedite the tall Mina blacks whom we have engaged to transport our luggage to its place of destination. By signs manual our meaning is comprehended, but we receive a very cool "Esperou um pouco, senhor," Wait a little, sir, which completes our studies in Portuguese for the day. And what a lesson we have received! Paciencia, amanhaa, and esperou um pouco! These words in action stare the nervous, impatient, tearing, fretting Anglo-American, everywhere throughout Brazil.
The Hon. Ex-Governor Kent, whose name is associated with the Northeastern boundary and with the politics of New England, was for four years a resident of Rio de Janeiro as U. Consul, and for a portion of the time as acting Charge d'Affaires. It was his deliberate opinion that Brazil was the best place in existence to cool a fervid, speech-making, community-exciting Yankee.
I have laughed heartily at his dry humorous manner, as he has unfolded con amore this subject:"There is to a quietly-disposed, mild man, past the meridian of life, who has seen many of the rough sides of humanity, something agreeable and pleasant in the tranquil, calm, noiseless habits of the Brazilians. To live a whole year and never attend a caucus or an indignation-meeting, to hear nothing about elections, to see no gatherings of the people, to read no placards calling upon the sovereigns to rise and vindicate their rights, to listen to no stumpspeeches or dinner-orations, never once to be importuned to walk or ride in a political procession, to see not one torchlight-pageant in 3.
With a free and well-supported press, his nature demands no thrilling evening editions, filled with long and minute accounts of the last steamboat disaster, fearful accidents, or horrible murders. As a general thing, he thinks the moral, physical, and political worlds will turn on their own axes without his interference. Hence it was, doubtless, that some of the far-seeing and really wide-awake statesmen of Rio proposed a fine of five dollars to be imposed upon each citizen who did not come up to the polls of the municipal election and deposit his vote.
Almost every one who arrives at Rio is expecting letters that have anticipated him by the English steamer, and, as soon as his trunks are relieved from the Custom-House, he makes his way to the Correio Geral, or General Post-Office, in the Rua Direita. You pass by a large vestibule, with a stone floor, occupied by several soldiers, either on guard or sleeping on benches at the extremities of the room, and upon inquiry you ascertain that the Postmaster General and the larger portion of his employees are in the rooms above.
We enter the front-door of the large apartment adjoining this vestibule. On the right, behind a high counter, are the letters and newspapers of the Post-Office, distributed, not in boxes, according to alphabetical order, but in heaps, according to the places from whence they have come; as, for instance, from the Mines, from St.
Paul's, and other important points. Corresponding to this, on the sides of the room, are hung numerical lists of names, arranged under the head of Cartas de Minas, de S. The letters, with the exception of those belonging to certain mercantile houses, and to those who pay an annual subscription to have their correspondence sent them, are thrown together promiscuously, and he who comes first has the privilege of looking over the whole mass and selecting such as belong to himself or his friends.
This method has been somewhat modified since the establishment of. On the day that the steamer arrives an immense crowd gathers at the Post-Office; but the letters, instead of being investigated by all upon the counter, are carefully kept in the back-part of the hall, where four persons at a time are admitted. Although in such a method of letter-delivery there is an apparent liability to frequent mistakes, yet in my own experience losses of letters never occurred. The whole system is, however, clumsy and inconvenient for a city of three hundred thousand inhabitants.
I was informed at Rio that some years since Mr. Gordon, of Boston, who was then U. Consul, offered to the Brazilian Government to put their chief Post-Office on the same footing of efficiency that existed in the United States. Gordon was admirably qualified for this, having been for a number of years the postmaster of the largest distributing and seaport office in New England.
His offer was not accepted; for the Brazilians, though more progressive than most South American people, still inherit many characteristics from their Portuguese ancestors, and a prominent one is dislike of change. The little progress that the mother-country has made during the last few centuries is admirably illustrated in the following well-known story:-Once upon a time Adam requested leave to revisit this world: permission was granted, and an angel commissioned to conduct him.
On wings of love the patriarch hastened to his native earth; but so changed, so strange, all seemed to him, that he nowhere felt at home till he came to Portugal. This may also be said of the mail to Petropolis by steamboat, railway, and stage-coach; but, as a general thing, the inland transportation of letters is very slow. But when the D. Railway and similar constructions reach far into the interior, there will be of course corresponding improvement in this respect.
The inland mails to the distant provinces depart once in five days, and return at corresponding intervals. Their transmission through the country is slow and tedious, being performed on horseback or by foot-carriers, at an average, throughout the empire, of twenty miles in twenty-four hours. Charges for postage are moderate, and a traveller to any portion of the country is permitted.
There is, however, one exception to the general cheapness of postage. It sometimes happens that books or packages which ought to have passed through the Custom-House find their way to the Post-Office, and then the expense is extravagant. If a person is dissatisfied with the amount charged, he can appeal to the decision of the inspector-in-chief, and perhaps, after a proper explanation, the affair may be accommodated.
In general, the civilities which a person will receive at the Post-Office of Rio de Janeiro are in happy contrast with the sullen and boorish indifference sometimes experienced at similar places in the United States. From the Post-Office we next seek the large commercial trapiche warehouse of Messrs. This establishment has long been known as the leading commission-house of Rio de Janeiro. It was built up under the supervision of the vigilant and prompt Mr. Joseph Maxwell, of Gibraltar, and various members of his family, in connection with the Messrs.
Wright of Baltimore. Few Americans and Englishmen have gone to Rio without receiving attentions fiom some one of the principals or employees of this house. At the abundantly-spread table in the dining-room of the trapiche, many have made their first acquaintance with Brazilian dishes and with the refreshing fruits of the tropics. In September, , Sr. Jose Maxwell, the senior partner of this important firm, died; and probably the funeral of no other private citizen in the capital or the empire was ever attended by such a throng as that which followed to the grave the remains of this kind father, respected citizen, and honored merchant.
It is not, however, either long or broad, but the shops upon it are brilliant and in good taste. There is no part of the city so attractive to the recently-landed foreigner as this street, with its print-shops, feather-flower stores, and jewellery-establishments. The diamond, the topaz and emerald can here be purchased in any number, and are temptingly displayed behind rich plate-glass. The feather and insect-flowers manufactured in Brazil are original and most beauti.
The early Portuguese found that the Indians adorned themselves with the rich plumage of the unsurpassingly brilliant birds of the forest. In the Amazonian regions the aborigines have not lost either the taste or the skill of their ancestors, and, like the cultivators of roses, they are not content with the gorgeous colors which nature has painted, but by artificial means produce new varieties.
Thus, on the Rio Negro, the Uaupe Indians have a headdress which is in the highest estimation, and they will only part with it under the pressure of the greatest necessity. This ornament consists of a coronet of red and yellow feathers disposed in regular rows and firmly attached to a strong plaited band. The feathers are entirely from the shoulders of the great red macaw; but they are not those that the bird naturally possesses, for the Indians have a curious art by which they change the colors of the plumage of many birds.
They pluck out a certain number of feathers, and in the various vacancies thus occasioned infuse the milky secretion made from the skin of a small frog. When the feathers grow again they are of a brilliant yellow or orange color, without any mixture of green or blue as in the natural state of the bird; and it is said that the much-coveted yellow feather will ever after be reproduced without a new infusion of the milky secretion.
In the National Museum on the Campo St. Anna, many of the curious head-dresses and feather-robes of the aboriginal tribes attract the attention of the visitor. There are few curiosities more esteemed in Europe and the United States than the feather-flowers of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. They are made from the natural plumage, though from time to time the novice has palmed off upon him a bouquet, the leaves of which, instead of being from the parrot, have been stolen from the back of the white ibis and then dyed.
This deception can, however, be detected by observing the stem of the feather to be colored green, which never is the case in nature. No one travelling in the English steamers should postpone his purchases of these beautiful souvenirs of bright birds and Brazil until he arrives at Madeira, for the numerous pedlars of that island offer an inferior article made from artificially-colored feathers. Bahia is the cheapest mart for this kind of merchandise. No ornament can surpass the.
A lady whose bonnet or hair is adorned with such plumage seems to be surrounded with flashes of the most gorgeous and ever-varying brilliancy. The carnations and other flowers made from a happy combination of the feathers of the scarlet ibis and the rose-colored spoonbill are also very natural, and are highly prized.
In these shops we may also find fish-scale flowers, and those manufactured from the wings of insects, and breast-pins which are made by setting a small brilliant beetle in gold. From the Rua do Ouvidor we turn into the Rua dos Ourives, Goldsmiths' Street, where are scores of shops filled with large quantities of silver and gold ornaments, from a spur to a crucifix.
We now wend our way through the Largo do Francisco do Paula to the Largo do Roscio, or Theatre Square, as it is termed by the English, where we take an omnibus for Botafogo. The Brazilian omnibus is very much like its prototype in all parts of the world, with this single and very important exception:-it is not elastic.
A New York or Philadelphia omnibus is proverbially " never full;" but the same kind of vehicle in Rio can be filled, and, when once complete, the conductor closes the door, cries " Vamos embora," Let us be off, the driver flourishes his long thong and sets his fourmule team into a gallop. Away we go, rattling across gutters as if there were nonei and rushing through narrow streets as if negro water-carriers had no existence. It is curious to behold the heavyladen slaves clearing the street and dodging into open shop-doors as an omnibus appears in sight.
Few accidents occur; and, when they do, prompt reparation is made. On one occasion I was in a "gondola" in the narrow Rua S. Our four long-eared beasts were plunging on at a fearful rate, and, being much more unmanageable than horses, could not be pulled up until the fore-wheel crunched upon the legs of a poor old mullatress.
She was severely but not fatally injured, and was instantly cared for. The gondoladriver, however, I never saw again holding the reins. The House of Correction, or one of the many prisons, was, without doubt, his abode for the next few months. The streets, with their diminutive sidewalks, are so narrow that in many of them only one vehicle can pass at a time. I was more. George S.
Hillard, in his thought-begetting "Six Months in Italy," says of the narrow thoroughfares of Pompeii, "As each vehicle must have occupied the space between the curbstones, we are left without any means of conjecturing what expedients were resorted to, or what policeregulations were in force, when two carriages, moving in different directions, met each other. Jose, and others, carriages and omnibuses never meet; and so admirable are the police-regulations that no mistakes ever occur.
At the corner of each of these streets where it is crossed by another, we see painted, with great distinctness, an index immediately under the name of the street. Thus, two of the streets mentioned above are adjacent to and parallel with each other, and are crossed by the Ruas Direita and Quitanda.
Now, if I am in a carriage at the point where the Ruas Direita and Rosario cross each other, and I wish to visit a shop at the corner of the latter street and the Rua Quitanda, although it is more direct for me to ascend by the Rua do Rosario, yet my Jehu knows that. He therefore whirls through the Direita, up the Rua do Ouvidor, and along the Quitanda, travelling the three sides of the square, and thus avoiding all collision.
XI - r In the city of New York there has been for many years every imaginable proposition for the relief of Broadway, and there is scarcely a citizen or visitor in that vast emporium who has not on more than one occasion been subjected to great inconvenience by the regular "blockade" instituted every day in the lower part of that immense thoroughfare, the whole of which might have been avoided by the simple application of the Brazilian plan, and thus making the innumerable omnibuses, drays, carts, and carriages descend Broadway, and those vehicles that are uptownward ascend Greenwich Street.
But onward rushes our omnibus at a rapid pace. We whirl by the Carioca Fountain, and, before we can give a second look at the green sides of the Antonio Hill, we are bowling along under the garden-walls of the lofty Adjuda Convent. All seems dismal, with the exception of the foliage that appears above the high enclosure.
A turn brings us into the Largo da Ajuda, and at once we have the wonderful view-to Northern eyes at least-of the Passeio Publico, Public Promenade, and before us the verdant slopes of the Santa Theresa Hill. From beneath the tropic-trees. The Passeio Publico, which we are passing, was a favorite resort of mine at Rio; and at all times-whether at night, when it is brilliantly illuminated, or in the brightest hour of the day-it is one of the pleasantest promenades within the precincts of the municipality.
Here are overhanging trees, blooming parabeyond, the rolling ocean. On the side which fronts the bay is a large terrace, from which is a magnificent prospect of the Gloria Hill, the distant Sugar-Loaf, and, far beyond, the rolling ocean. Having passed this public garden, we are in the square called Largo da Lapa.
The palatial building on our right was purchased a few years ago for the National Library, and was formerly one of the most splendid private mansions in Rio. Over a superbly-paved street our omnibus is hurrying; but from. We dash along what is called the "Coast of Africa,"-a long row of low houses on our right; while on our left the bay is beneath us, and therefore, the street being unshaded, the appropriateness of the hot cognomen.
That large three-story building, formerly the English Embassy, is a foundling hospital. The Chafariz of St. Theresa is built up against a portion of the living rock of the jutting hill whence it derives its name. After passing the flower-gardens of the Barao do Meriti and the Gloria Hill, our passengers begin to descend at the various streets which cross the Catete, which is the widest thoroughfare in this portion of the capital.
Each person, as he rises to depart, lifts his hat, and the compliment is returned by every individual in the omnibus, though all may be entire strangers. No one ever enters a large public conveyance in Rio without saluting those within and receiving in return a polite acknowledgment of his presence. Very frequently a pinch of snuff is offered to you by your unknown neighbor. I have seen gentlemen but recently returned from Brazil enter a New York omnibus and deferentially salute the inmates: the polite strangers were received with a smile of derision or looked upon with a stare of contempt.
Each omnibus has painted in large characters upon its sides its capacity: thus, "14 pessoas" means that the vehicle is registered at the Bureau de Police to contain that number of persons, and one passenger more than the registered number would subject the company to a heavy fine.
I have never seen more passengers within than the figures on the side indicated. I have more than once mentioned the "gondola,"-that name associated with love-romance and Venice, "moonrise high, midnight, and the voice of song. The gondola in every respect resembles the omnibus, save that no conductor accompanies it. You prepay. The gondola does not have the convenience which the New York omnibus possesses, in the shape of the leather strap by which the passenger causes the driver to pull up at the will of the former.
In lieu of this, passengers make a very free use of canes, umbrellas, and fists, battering at a terrible rate the end of the gondola nearest the driver; or occasionally the leg of the latter is rather more warmly than affectionately embraced by the individual sitting next to the farther window. Sometimes the gondola cannot be "propelled" by its living oars; and, under such circumstances, when a Scotchman, a Yankee, or a Frenchman will relieve himself of many hard words at the unfortunate Jehu, the Brazilians remain perfectly calm, not once descending to see what is the matter, and conversing with one another as philosophically as if nothing had happened.
On one occasion I was witness to a scene which will scarcely be credited. As a gondola full of passengers was turning out of the Rua dos Ourives, it unfortunately "stuck. Not one passenger got out, but all looked from the windows as if this was a part of the programme for which they had paid their dous testoes, five English pence, and they determined to have their money's worth.
The poor driver was in deep distress: quite a crowd collected, but no one offered to aid him, until he, by sundry vintems, allured the services of several Africans, whose broad shoulders applied to the wheels, in conjunction with the pulling of the mules, moved gondola, passengers, and all. Having something of a philological turn, I inquired why these public conveyances were called gondolas.
We will end our ride at the Ponta do Catete, and will thence make our way to the Hotel dos Estrangeiros, at the commencement of the Caminho Velho de Botafogo; or we may walk a few steps farther, and enter Johnson's Hotel, on the Caminho Novo. The Hotel dos Estrangeiros is a large house kept on the French plan; the Hotel Johnson is where Englishmen "most do congregate," and where one can find more comfort than at any other establishment for the accommodation of the public in the city.
Both are surrounded by verdure, whether we consider the neighboring gardens, or the adjacent hills, whose sides are covered with luxuriantlyfoliaged trees and clambering vines. The stranger at Rio de Janeiro is usually surprised at the scarcity of inns and boarding-houses. There are several French and Italian hotels, with apartments to let; and these are chiefly supported by the numerous foreigners constantly arriving and temporarily residing in the place. But among the native population, and intended for Brazilian patronage, there are only eight or ten inns in a city of three hundred thousand inhabitants, and scarcely any of these exceed the dimensions of a private house.
It is almost inconceivable how the numerous visitors to this great emporium find necessary accommodations. It may safely be presumed that they could not, without a heavy draught upon the hospitalities of the inhabitants, with whom, in many instances, a letter of introduction secures a home.
In the lack of such a resort, the sojourner rents a room, and, by the aid of his servant and a few articles of furniture, soon manages to live, with more or less frequent resorts to some caza de pasto or restaurant. Most of the members of the National Assembly keep up domestic establishments during their sojourn in the capital.
As a consequence of this lack of hotels and boarding-houses, some of the commercial firms maintain a table for the convenience of their clerks and guests. This was once much more common; but, since , probably the greater portion of those formerly thus accommodated club together, rent a house in Botafogo, Praia Grande, or on the Santa Theresa, and keep up an establishment of their own.
For many days, in a narrow berth, you have been rudely rocked by the billows, and this is the first night on terra firma and a comfortable bed. The windows of your apartment are wide open, and, as you close your eyes, the land-breeze, murmuring softly, bears upon its wings not only the sweet, fresh smell of the earth, but, stealing in its course from the adjacent gardens the fragrance of jessamines, the delicate scent of the flora-pondia, and the odor of the opening orange-blooms, it loads the evening air with the richest aroma.
The distant booming of the waves, as they break upon the Praia do Flamengo, is a soothing melody, which lulls you to dreams of scenes not more lovely than those around you, where are " Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies, Breadths of tropic shade, and palms in cluster, knots of paradise,"a land where " Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland, swings the trailer from the crag, Droops the heavy-blossom'd bower, hangs the heavy-fruited tree,Summer-isles of Eden lying in dark purple spheres of sea.
ALTHOUGH the bay and city of Rio de Janeiro are fraught with interesting associations to the general student of history, and still more to the Protestant Christian as that portion of the New World where the banner of the Reformed religion was first unfurled, yet I have thought it best to introduce here a brief account of the early discovery and settlement of Brazil. Guanihani that outpost of the New World-was beheld by European eyes six years before the discovery of South America.
In , Columbus landed near the mouth of the Orinoco. He recorded, in enthusiastic language, " the beauty of the new land," and declared that he felt as if " he could never leave so charming a spot. Pinzon sailed from Palos in December, , and, crossing the equator, his eyes were gladdened, on the 26th of January, , by a green promontory, which he called Cape Consolation.
This is now known as Cape St. Augustine, the headland just south of the city of Pernambuco. He sailed thence northward, discovering the vast mouths of the Amazon, and touched at various points until he reached the Orinoco. When Pinzon beheld the palm-groves and densely-foliaged In the name of Castile he took possession of the goodly land; but, before he reached Spain, Pedro Alvares Cabral, a distinguished Portuguese navigator, had claimed the territory for his own monarch.
On the return of Vasco da Gama to Portugal, in , with the certainty of having discovered the route to the Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, the king Dom Emanuel determined to send a large fleet to those famous regions, with instructions to enter into commercial relations with the Eastern sovereigns, or, in case of refusal, to make war upon them and subdue them.
The command of this expedition was intrusted to Cabral, and, on the 9th of March, the large fleet, with its fifteen hundred soldiers and mariners, sailed amid grand military and religious ceremonials, the king himself honoring the occasion by his august presence. With this handful of men, intended for the coercion of the Orient to the commercial notions of Portugal, Cabral directed his course to the Cape de Verdes, and thence, in order to avoid the calms which prevail on the African coast, he ran so far to the westward, that, without any intention on his part, he discovered, on the 21st of April, , the same land which, ninety days previously, had been visited by Pinzon.
Cabral's discovery was, however, in the present province of Espirito Santo, near Mount Pascal, which is eight degrees south of Cape St. Some Brazilian writers grudgingly mention the voyage of Pinzon; others ignore him altogether, wishing seemingly to ascribe all the glory to one of their own Portuguese ancestors.
Doubtless Cabral was led by the trade-winds and by the currents-of which he was not aware-to the coast of Brazil, and thus made his fortunate discovery. To-day, vessels sailing from Europe for the East Indies can as is well demonstrated by Lieutenant Maury's wind and current charts make the swiftest voyages by taking advantage of the wonderful trade-winds, steering first toward South America and afterward in the direction of the Cape of Good Hope.
Pinzon set forth from Palos with the intention of making Western discoveries; Cabral sailed from Lisbon with instructions to proceed to the Eastern discoveries of Vasco da Gama; but, because a. Augustine, there is neither reason nor justice in the national pride which endeavors to take away the priority of discovery from Vincent Yanez Pinzon.
On Easter Sunday mass was celebrated; and on the 1st of May this solemnity was repeated, and, in the presence of thousands of the aborigines, a huge cross was erected, bearing the insignia of Dom Emanuel, and the land, to which they gave the name of Vera Cruz, was solemnly taken possession of in the name of the King of Portugal.
Two convicts were left with the natives, and one of these afterward became of great use as an interpreter. Cabral despatched Gaspar de Lemos to Lisbon, to inform the monarch of the discovery and appropriation of the new land of the True Cross, and then pursued his route to the East Indies.
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