About Itacaré, Bahia,  Brasil

Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil

Itacaré is an incredibly beautiful surf town in the southeastern part of the state of Bahia, which is located in northeasterly part of Brazil. Itacaré sits right in between a tropical Rainforest (the Mata Atlántica) and the Atlantic Ocean; where gorgeous jungle, beaches, waterfalls, coconut trees and cocoa plantations abound. Itacaré boasts a big fishing, surfing and tourist industry, while this area of Bahia is also called “the cocoa coast” for its vast cocoa plantations. The beans of the cacoa fruit make the raw ingredient for chocolate, which used to be the primary economic driver for this region.

Itacare beach

History of Itacaré & Bahia

Sadly, the early history of the agricultural industry in Bahia was deeply enmeshed with the African slave trade. Countless Africans were brought to Bahia as slaves to be exploited by plantation owners. Cocoa (Cacáo) was the primary crop produced in and around Itacaré. Several historic mansions (Casarão, or big house in Portuguese) of these former plantation owners have been restored and are now businesses, restaurants and pousadas that face the riverfront (also known as the “Orla”) here in Itacaré.

Itacaré

Bahian Culture

In comparison to the United States, where most African slaves were basically stripped of all their cultural traditions and practices, many Africans in Brazil still practiced at least modified versions of their cultural traditions, albeit sometimes in secret.  Consequently, this has since developed into a very unique Afro-Brazilian culture that is now highly celebrated and honored here in Bahia.

We must not downplay the serious oppression, discrimination, inequality and poverty that still exists today and is largely a burden carried by people of color, likely grounded on this violent and abusive past. However, there also exists a deep pride within the “Bahiana” (Afro-Brazilian) culture and the entire region is now famous for it’s traditional and typical music, arts, dance and religion – including capoeira, samba and forro.

For more information about Itacaré and Bahia Brazil, including its location, history, services, events and much more, go to www.itacare.com

Capoeira