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São Jorge's Village

Until the 1990s, the main economical activity in São Jorge was crystal mining. The village had over 3000 people in the heyday. Today, many of the natives either were miners, depending on their age, or are children of miners. With the end of mining, the economy stagnated. Ecotourism was what made the city get back onto its feet, thanks to the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, created in 1961. Tourism brought attention to the town not only from outsiders, but also from the residents. The main income of most inhabitants currently depends on hotel chains, restaurants and travel agencies.

The park protects an area of 65,514 hectares of high savannah and has been considered a Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2001. When you come to São Jorge you have the opportunity to see and enjoy numerous waterfalls, landscapes, belvederes, springs and canyons. These include Vale da Lua, Águas Quentes, Morada do Sol, Raizama, Janela, Abismo, Salto do Rio Preto, Corredeiras.

In addition to the tourist attractions, one of São Jorges's biggest treasures is being the land of simple people, men and women from the countryside, old miners and small traders. It is a space for good prose and a good dose of faith and popular wisdom. During the day, the sun illuminates the dirt streets and invites you to take a river bath. At night it is the moon that charms you, in a sky full of stars.

São Jorge is a welcome stop for people coming from all directions, who spend only a few days or end up devoting their whole lives to this piece of Goiás. The reasons are many. But one of the biggest is the aura of mysticism that surrounds the area. Alto Paraíso - which doubles as the capital of Chapada dos Veadeiros and of which the village is a district - is the meeting point of many alternative communities. The precursor of this movement was a group from Pernambuco, which came on a spiritual mission in the 1950s'. They founded the Fazenda Bona Espero farm, an educational center of Esperanto,  a language designed to be universal. Soon after, different thinking lines arrived and continue to arrive: Kardecists, Santo Daime believers, Umbanda, astrologers, shamanists, ufologists, wizards, Osho disciples, Gurdjieff and Khalil Gibran.

The Brazilian guru Sri Prem Baba has an ashram in Alto Paraiso, where he stays  from August to October. He spends the rest of the year between Rishikesh, in India, Nazaré Paulista, in São Paulo, and the world, giving lectures and visiting the places that preach his teachings about the awakening of love.

There are many explanations for the mystical aura of the region. One of them is related to the fact that the 14th parallel passes through the Chapada dos Veadeiros, the same that passes through Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incas in Peru. Another explanation links the local energy to the massive quartz crystal on top of which the region sits. Legend has it that NASA called one night wondering where this bright location was,  as it is the brightest spot on Earth when seen from space. This is also the reason that the region attracts UFOs. The lights that every now and then cut through the sky are home to a number of mysteries and local legends.

São Jorge has a structured network of hotels, campsites, restaurants, bars, pizzerias and shops, as well as health centers, churches, a community center, a multipurpose court, schools and supermarket. It is 220 km from Brasilia and has 600 inhabitants.


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A Vila de Sao Jorge

Conheça a história da Vila criada por ex-garimpeiros de cristais
Faça parte da nossa comunidade e ajude a preservar as belezas da Vila
Veja a rota de carro a partir de Brasília até a Vila de São Jorge

Casa de Cultura Cavaleiro de Jorge
Rua 4, quadra 4, lote 19, Vila de São Jorge, Alto Paraíso - GO
Telefone: 62 3455 1077 -

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