the village where Castelo Do Vento is situated, is a small fishing village which is still relatively untouched by modern civilisation. Fishermen go out in the evening on their wooden sail-boats equiped with little more than fishing nets and a gas lantern only to come back the next morning (or a few days later) with just about enough to sell and eat for that same day. Until a couple of years ago, the most common transportation means in Prea were horses and donkeys, today you will still see some roaming freely on the beach or litteraly walking in front of our place. A few natives have started to get involved with the modern way of living by driving buggies, teaching kitesurf lessons or starting up simple restaurants, but many still live off the land, growing vegetables & fruit or breeding cattle and poultry, in addition to fishing shrimp.
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A little information about the area of Prea - Jericoacoara, Ceara
According to written records, the Portuguese “discovered” the area in the 17th century. At that time the region was populated by the Tremembes Indians. The Portuguese came from the East (around the Fortaleza area) as they were looking to set up a small fort between them and the French, whom controlled the state of Maranhao. The Serrote mountain surrounded by sand dunes turned out to be the perfect lookout point, so they setup base in 1614. Sure enough, a few months later, they were attacked by the “Du Prat” French pirates whom were defeated thanks to the tactical location. During the following centuries, Jericoacoara returned to being a deserted point on the coast of Ceará and only started ‘happening’ again in the 1970’s.
1970: It wasn´t until the late 1970´s that hippies ‘re-discovered’ Jericoacoara, back then it was only a tiny fishing village on the Northeastern coast of Brazil with very few inhabitants, mostly living off fish & seafood and manioc flower from the inland regions.
80Backpackers start visiting Jeri in the 80’s, they trade t-shirts and camping tools for food & a spot to hang a hammock. In 1984, the Government calls the Jericoacoara region an “Environmentally Protected Area” (APA) preventing the building of high-rises and disorganized development.
1990: After hearing stories of “endless months of howling winds between sand dunes and coconut trees”, windsurfers make their first trips to Jeri. They go home telling their friends and soon after that Jeri becomes the best windsurfing destination in Brazil. Nicer pousadas and rental shops develop in the 90´s.
2000: The arrival of power in 1998 changed everything for Jericoacoara, from refrigerators to telephones, air conditioning to internet, the hip village is transformed into a bustling tourist town, fulfilling all the needs of the modern man!
The tipping point for Jeri was in March of 1987, when an article in the Washington Post Sunday edition mentioned Jeri as one of the world’s best beaches beckon, from then on the village hit the international main stream.
In 2002, the Protected Area was increased and turned into an official National Parc which extended all the way to Preá. Adding this fact to the windsurfing frenzy, Jericoacoara slowly turned into the touristy yet quaint little town it is today.
Jeri’s sandy street are still unpaved and although electricity reached the village in 1998, there are no electric poles and therefor no light pollution which gives Jeri a nice feeling when walking down the streets at night. During the day, the hot sun and light breeze invite you to relax in a hammock, take a dune buggy trip to a fresh water lagoon or go practice any kind of water sports!
Did you know?
The origin of the name Jericoacoara most probably comes from the Tupi (an indian dialect) words “yurucuá” (turtle) – “quara” (burrow), in other words, a place where turtles lay eggs, for more info, read the article regarding the latest hatchling of the hawksbill turtles monitored by the National Park rangers.