PLACE: MUSEU SENZALA NEGRO LIBERTO ( SLAVE QUARTERS AND BLACK FREEDOM MUSEUM)
- Gives a look at a tiny rural village
- The FIRST CITY IN BRAZIL to abolish slavery, in 1883! (The rest of the state of Ceara would go on to abolish slavery in 1884, and Brazil as a country would abolish it only in 1888)
- Opportunity to see the museum and learn a bit about slavery in the 1800s
- A chance to buy Cachaça (sugar cane alcohol) that is still being produced by the plant that still functions at the location.
- A look at the architecture of the time.
- A chance to visit Santa Rita Church (Igreja Alto Santa Rita), and check out the long pilgrimage staircase there.
- UNILAB University for African students also has several campuses there
DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH: No! You will DEFINITELY need a Portuguese to English interpreter on this trip!!
WHAT I THINK: As is usually the case, I was absolutely surprised that this tiny village, with its population of about about 26,000, packed such a punch. I was surprised by how visceral the experience of walking through this old “Big House” and “slave quarters” would be. It was also interesting to see that the place still produces Cachaça even today, which you can buy at the end of the tour. A small walk down the road leads you to the town square and features ALTO SANTA RITA CHURCH and ESCADARIA SANTA RITA (Santa Rita Staircase)! I am not Catholic, but I always love to see the different churches in every city. If you want to try to climb the stairs to the top of the mountain, you definitely need to do it either at dawn or dusk. Also, if you visit during the week, you may also have a chance to visit the UNILAB University campuses (there are 3 of them). Like most small towns, this place completely closes down between 1400- 1700, so plan to have lunch before 1400. I REALLY enjoyed this little town and will definitely return again. I am still so surprised that the history of this little place is still relatively unknown, and I will definitely be bringing friends to visit in the future.
IS IT WORTH IT? YES! YES! YES!
HOW TO GET THERE: Go by TAXI or car rental. If you choose a taxi, negotiate a price for the driver to take you there, stay there with you while you do the tour, drive you around the village, and take you back home. You might also just ask for a price for the entire day, to give you a bit more freedom to explore the little town.