Sanctuary of Caraça Complex – What about it?

Located in the town of Catas Altas and Santa Bárbara, with 11.233 hectares, it is a Brazilian Province of the Congregation of the Mission (PBCM in Portuguese) property. Caraça, as it is commonly called, is a “center of spirituality and mission, culture and education, environmental conservation, leisure and tourism” (Plano de Ação para o Caraça 2007 – 2012, p. 1).It also is:

  • complexo santuario do caraca Complexo Santuário do Caraça   O que é?A Catholic Institution, part of the Vincentian Family, with its several social goals including its missionary service and the attention to the poor people.
  • A family of educators: a school, a seminary composed by the priests, brothers, former students, researchers and employees.
  • A center of pilgrimage, culture, educational, tourism and environmental issues.
  • A Natural Heritage Private Reserve (RPPN in Portuguese), it is an APA SUL and Biosphere Reserve member.
  • Center of environmental education and production of scientific knowledge generating a productive space for academic researches.
  • A Brazilian Cultural Heritage with Federal, State and Local Government declarations.
  • One of the 7 wonders of Estrada Real (Brazilian Royal Road).
  • A multiple tourist enterprise ( an Inn, a restaurant, a snack bar, a gift shop, natural and cultural attractions) generating direct jobs for about 70 residents of the area. It promotes a massive annual flow of tourists bigger than the two towns inhabitants number. That way, it marks the touristic identity of the region; then the place becomes an enabling environment for the emergence of new business and the micro regional tourism chain enterprise. It is about a complex structure with multiple functions, rolls and personalities which must integrate harmoniously to compose an efficient and qualified tourism unity. In this context, we have 4 fundamental axes that constitute Caraças’s integrality:
  1. Preservation, conservation and environmental education (Natural Heritage Private Reserve, Visitors Center and Trails).
  2. Education, culture and science (Architectonic Complex, Museum and Library).
  3. Vincentian Center of Spirituality, religion and pilgrimage (Sanctuary and Missionary Service in the Districts around Caraça).

The Touristic Complex (Inn, restaurant, gift shop, snack bar, itineraries and attractions). The Sanctuary of Caraça Complex is the totality of 11.233 hectares where the Architectonic Complex of the Sanctuary, the Natural Heritage Private Reserve (10.187 hectares) and the parts that the owner classifies as area of Forest Management are located. There is a neo-Gothic church, the old building that worked as a school in the past and now is a museum and a library and the Inn are in the Architectonic Complex of Caraça. The Engenho Farm, Buraco da Boiada and Capivari Farm are in the Forest Management area.