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Curtis' Mission

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fernando de Noronha

"I was talking to Elder Silveira and he was telling me about the most exotic place in all of Brasil. It is an island in the north called Fernando de Noronha. It's supposed to be pretty beautiful and way cooler than Utah, if that's possible. I don't want to hate on Brasil, but being down here for so long has made me consider Utah, hands down, is the celestial kingdom on earth. I do love Brasil still."

LOCATION: Located 332 miles off the Brasilian coastal city of Recife, Fernando de Noronha is the largest and only inhabited island in an archipelago of 21 islands and islets. The entire archipelago was declared a Marine National Park in 1988 and today is administered by the Brasilian state of Pernambuco. All together 70% of the archipelago is considered National Park.

HISTORY: Fernando has a colorful history. Discovered in 1503 by Amerigo Cespucci, they were for a time a popular pirate's lair. It was invaded many times, passing through Dutch, English and French hands until in 1737 the French were driven out by the Pernambuco captaincy. Ten forts were built around the island to protect Pernambuco's ownership. The main fort, Forte dos Remedios, was completed in 1738 and sits atop a hill overlooking the traditional town center. Through the years the fort has been used as a penitentiary for common and political prisioners.

The island, besides serving as a political and common criminal prison, has also been home to military installations, including an American base during World War II.

TODAY: Today the island population is around 3000 inhabitants, dedicated to civil service, fishing, agriculture and the growing tourism and hospitality sector. Vila dos Remedios is where most people live and socialize. Here you will find a cluster of homes and "pousadas", a few stores, the post office, administration center, church and museum. The island has over 100 small "pousadas" spread out over the island, and none located directly on the beach.

  • Fernando de Noronha Official Site

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