Santa Rita do Sapucaí is a small town in the southern region of Minas Gerais state (MG) in Brazil. Traditionally, the foundation date of Santa Rita, short name for the city, is considered to be 1825-05-22, when the first mass was held in the chapel built on orders of Dona Genoveva Maria Martins da Fonseca, honoring a promise made by her late husband Manoel José da Fonseca. The Fonseca family arrived in the region in the early 19th century and is considered the founding family of Santa Rita do Sapucaí.
Friday, 12 July 2013
Santa Rita is located in a privileged site, a few hundred kilometers away from the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, in one of Minas Gerais' richest regions. It dwells between mountains and has a pleasant weather, with mild and dry winters, warm and dry springs, warm and wet summers and mild and wet autumns as typical of historically Atlantic Forest-covered Southeastern Brazil, throughout the year. It is warmer than São Paulo, but colder than Rio de Janeiro, Volta Redonda, Juiz de Fora and Belo Horizonte (Brazilians call the climate of the town tropical de altitude, which means it is kind of subtropical for such low latitude).
Famous soccer player Roque Júnior, which was in the Brazil's world champions squad of 2002, was born in Santa Rita. He also started in the local team, Santarritense.
Olavo Bilac Pinto was president of Chamber of Deputies of Brazil in 1965 and an embassador of Brazil in France from 1966 to 1970.
Former Brazilian president Delfim Moreira (List of Presidents of Brazil), although not being born in Santa Rita, spent most of his life there.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho, a serial killer who claims to have made more than 100 victims was killed in Santa Rita at the Rio Sapucai shores.
Although located in a rich coffee-growing region, Santa Rita is known for its high technology industries, being home to one of Brazil's foremost electronic, telecommunications and computer engineering colleges, INATEL - Instituto Nacional de Telecomunicações, which was founded in 1965.
As to the Escola Técnica de Eletrônica "Francisco Moreira da Costa" , the first electronic technical school of Latin América, it was founded in 1959 by lady Sinha Moreira. The city possesses today more than 110 companies of technological bases.
Santa Rita uses prisoners to power street lamps in a local plaza. Inmates are offered the opportunity to shorten their sentences by pedaling a bike that is connected to a car battery, which then are used to power the lighting grid.