Ribeirão Preto

Ribeirão Preto (Portuguese for “black stream”) is a city in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is nicknamed Brazilian California because of a combination of an economy based on agribusiness plus high technology, wealth and sunny weather all over the year. With more than 600,000 inhabitants, Ribeirão Preto is the eighth largest municipality in the state. With a total area of 652,2 square kilometers and it is 330 km far from the capital city and 708 km far from Brasília, the federal capital. The average altitude is 546,8 m. Ribeirão Preto is in the center of a urban agglomeration with more than one million inhabitants.

 

The city was founded in June 19th, 1856, by farmers who came from the southeast of Sao Paulo State to search good climate and soil for coffee growing. The city was laid by a stream called “Black Stream” and was named after it. Eventually the farmers’ choice revealed very adequate and the fertile soil of the area allowed the highest crop productivity in Brazil.

 

The high productivity of the land around Ribeirão Preto rapidly placed the region as the biggest ethanol and sugar producer of the world, being responsible for 30 percent of Brazil’s sugarcane ethanol. Besides sugar and ethanol, Ribeirão Preto’s major products are orange juice, cotton, rice, meat, dairy products, textiles, machinery, steel, furniture, building materials, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and beer.

 

The sugarcane boom brought a new age of prosperity for the city, which was called the “Brazilian California” during the 1980s and early 1990s, and this has increas