Located in RPA 03, which comprises 29 neighborhoods, this neighborhood in the North Zone of Recife has about 7,200 residents, with a male population of 3,495 (48.03%) inhabitants and a female population of 3,781 (51.97%) inhabitants. Most of the population is between 25 and 29 years old (49.01%). The predominant color is Brown (51.33%), and the literacy rate of the population aged 10 years and over is 91.5%.
With 2,132 households, the neighborhood has an average of 3.4 residents per household, with a proportion of 44.59% of women responsible for the household and average monthly nominal income of the households at R$1,841.34.
With an area of 152.55 hectares, 46.46% of these are built-up areas and the other 42.55% are still vegetation (tree: 27.80% and shrub: 14.75%). The remainder is divided into cultivation areas, exposed soil, hydrography and floodable area.
Recife has 25 nature conservation units, and Sítio dos Pintos is one of them, created as ZEPA 2 (Special Environmental Protection Zone) by Municipal Law No. 23,818 of July 23, 2008. In 2014, Law 18,014 made a new change by creating the current Municipal System of Protected Units (SMUP).
The area where this small and unknown neighborhood of Recife is located corresponds to the old town of Macacos, which even used to have a station on the Estrada de Ferro do Trem de Limoeiro. The neighborhood borders the municipality of Camaragibe, Caxangá, and Dois Irmãos. In the first half of the last century, Sítio dos Pintos was a thicket with some shacks and narrow paths. Successive deforestation and invasions reduced the vegetation and increased the local population. It is also a neighborhood that perhaps fits better as a rural area, such is the presence of vegetation, narrow roads and undeveloped land (CAVALCANTI, 2012 , p. 346).
The Sítio dos Pintos neighborhood grew without any planning and is made up of ten communities and three condominiums. According to the residents, there were five places where they used to bathe in the stream and three waterholes (still in use by the residents). They reported that there are other gems in the neighborhood: eleven water holes and six streams, two of which are tributaries of the Riacho Sítio dos Pintos. Although all of them are partially degraded, there is the possibility of recovery. Streams such as Sítio dos Pintos, Três Paus, Camaragibe and Fortuna still survive. They exposed some of their aspirations in relation to the neighborhood, such as: soccer fields, squares, leisure areas, sewage and security; items necessary for the well-being of any community.
Until the 1960s, the neighborhood was a farm, whose owner did not allow buildings in the area, only a few mud houses with thatched roofs were tolerated.
The landscape gets to be bucolic at times. Small woods, trees, noises of birds and other small animals; chickens, cows and goats passing alongside the street. There are also those who claim that the water that springs easily in the region is mineral. An environment reinforced by the name of some streets, such as Rua do Afeto (Affection Street). This rural isolation has even attracted wealthy families who build mansions to escape the stress of Recife. However, the feeling of country life is interrupted by the clusters of shacks and small popular shops (especially along the road) (BAIRROS, 2013, p. 49).
The Sítio dos Pintos neighborhood is an example of social inequality in Recife. There, luxurious condominiums coexist side by side with the simple housing of the low-income population, concentrated in the high parts, because the low areas are normally invaded by water in times of rain. One thing, however, unites wealthy families and those who survive on up to the minimum wage: the complaint about violence in the neighborhood.
Sítio dos Pintos has two public schools, the Mundo Esperança, which serves children from the age of 4, with classes ranging from Kindergarten to the 5th year of Elementary School, and the Sociologist Gilberto Freyre Municipal School, which serves the neighborhood with classes from Elementary School I (1st to 5th year), Elementary II (6th to 9th year) and at night it has classes for Youth and Adults Education (EJA). There is no day care in the community, and this is an old battle of the residents. There is a Family Health Center with medical and dental care, a CRAS headquarters, a Catholic Church whose patron saint is Nossa Senhora das Graças, there are several Evangelical Churches, a rehabilitation clinic for drug users, a unit in Vale do Amanhecer, a Christian spiritualist temple that attracts hundreds of people weekly in search of spiritual support and special water served on site. As for urban transport, in the neighborhood there are two bus terminals with three bus lines: Sítio do Pintos/IMIP; Sítio dos Pintos/Joana Bezerra and Rio Doce/Dois Irmãos, but there is still another bus line that serves the residents of Córrego da Fortuna, which is the Casa Amarela/Cruz Cabugá line.
As for basic sanitation, the neighborhood is in a very precarious situation, there is no sewage.
The local commerce is composed of some small points of sale in the own residences, pharmacies, construction stores, meatpackers, grocery stores, kiosks, bakery and workshops.
As for bars and restaurants, there is currently a well-known restaurant in the neighborhood for serving typical foods, such as chicken cabidela and guinea-fowl stew – the Bar do Pajaraca, and there are also the Conterrâneo Bar, O Risadinha, and the Sítio Bar, all of which frequented by local residents and people from other regions.
To better understand the daily life of the neighborhood and learn about its oral history, some former residents of the neighborhood were interviewed: João Marroquim de Souza (Seu Joca), José Alberto Pereira da Silva (Betinho) and Tereza Pereira da Silva (Dona Tereza).
According to the interviewee Seu Joca, who listened to stories told by his grandfather, João José Marroquim, a resident of the place since 1922, he told his grandson that the place, at the time, belonged to the Dois Irmãos neighborhood, but in 1988 it became an official neighborhood of Recife.
The headquarters of the Neighborhood Residents Association was founded by former residents Maria Jacinto and José Jacinto. Currently, there is also a Women’s Group in the neighborhood with its own headquarters, whose coordinator is Dona Tereza.
Dona Tereza tells us that a long time ago, the main form of leisure for the residents was to bathe in the crystal clear waters from natural springs that were suitable places for family fun, such as the “Riacho Três Paus” (named after the existence of three large coconut trees that were on this land). Over the years, however, these springs have been suffering from pollution and with regulars, people involved with drug trafficking have appropriated the place, pushing away those who went to the place just looking for a moment of fun, “since there are no other forms of leisure in the neighborhood, such as a square or a playground for children” (verbal information).
According to the interviewee Betinho (President of the Commission Pró Arraial de Sítio dos Pintos – COMPASP) with regard to the cultural part, there is a June gang, Mistura de Cor, which participates in festivals within the state of Pernambuco, and, during the June festivities period, a village is set up by the community association to host cultural presentations. There was a carnival group that made the neighborhood happy for many carnivals in the past: the “Bloco Segura o Pinto”, which, being extinct, is remembered only in photos.
According to Betinho, the neighborhood had the honorable presence of the artist José Joaquim de Santana Filho, known as Mestre Duda. This artist produced beautiful sculptures carved in wood and became very famous, his work was recognized and many people came to the neighborhood to buy his works of art. To this day his widow and mother live in the same house where he lived.
It is important to emphasize that, despite all the difficulties encountered by the residents of the Sítio dos Pintos neighborhood, there is a fighting spirit there, manifested in the posture of some of its representatives and the people who live there have not lost the joy and hope of better days by going to school and the implementation of projects that are currently at a standstill, such as the day care center and the city Gym, for example.
In general, it can be said that the neighborhood of Sítio dos Pintos, despite having a pleasant climate due to the green of its bucolic landscape, needs more attention from the competent authorities to insert the residents in a more favorable social context, since there is a huge territorial and human potential.
1. Surrounded by many trees and trails, there is a strong belief in imaginary beings. And the best known among the residents is a being they call Comadre Fulozinha, a girl with long black hair who lives in the woods, who loves to braid the tails and manes of horses, who beats those who cut trees and do not respect nature. It is said that she has a strong whistle and has the gift of appearing out of nowhere, she loves to receive gifts from people, such as fruits and cooked food. She is a protector of the forests and animals of the forest.
2. It is said that the entire area of the Neighborhood formed a single site belonging to a family whose surname was “Pinto”. In this way, all local and surrounding residents referred to the place as the “Sítio dos Pintos”, hence came the name of the neighborhood: Sítio dos Pintos.
3. The Sítio dos Pintos neighborhood has some communities that do not recognize themselves as belonging to it, such as Córrego da Fortuna and Sítio São Braz, whose residents identify themselves as belonging to the Dois Irmãos neighborhood.
* This text is part of the Interacting with the History of Your Neighborhood project, a partnership between the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation and the Manuel Bandeira Readership Training Program.
Recife, November 28, 2017.
BAIRROS do Recife. Causos, histórias e manifestações culturais. Revista Algo Mais, a. 3, n. 3, 2013. Available at: goo.gl/pgd2LA. Accessed: 13 nov. 2017.
CAVALCANTI, Carlos Bezerra. O Recife e seus bairros. 5 ed. rev. e ampl. Camaragibe: CCS Gráfica e editora, 2012.
IBGE. Censo Demográfico 2010. Brasília, DF, 2010. Available at: https://ww2.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/censo2010/default.shtm. Accessed: 13 nov. 2017.
LINS, Letícia. Sítio dos Pintos conta a própria história. In: Oxe Recife, 20 nov. 2017. Available at: http://oxerecife.com.br/2017/11/20/sitio-dos-pintos-conta-propria-historia/. Accessed: 20 nov. 2017.
RECIFE. Prefeitura Municipal. Serviços para o cidadão. Sítio dos Pintos. Available at: http://www2.recife.pe.gov.br/serviço/sitio-dos-pintos. Accessed: 16 nov. 2017.
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SILVA, Gisele Pereira da; VERARDI, Cláudia Albuquerque. Sítio dos Pintos (Neighborhood, Recife). In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2017. Available from: https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/artigo/sitio-dos-pintos-neighborhood-recife/. Accessed on: dia mês ano. (Ex.: 6 ago. 2009.)