One of the Brazilian states, Paraiba came from the Tupi language Para which means “bad” and A’iba referring to “navigation”; thus, “bad to navigation” in English. The state, which has João Pessoa as its capital, is located on the country’s northeastern part and is most special by being the first state in Brazil to witness the rising sun every morning.
As of 2008, there is a total of 3,794,000 people inhabiting the state; most of whom have mixed ancestry – from Africans to Portuguese and Amerindians.
The largest component of the state’s GDP is its service sector which is at 56.5%. Following it is the industrial and agricultural sector at 33.1% and 10.4%, respectively. Paraiba also ventures in the export of woven cotton, footwear, sugar and alcohol, fish, sisal, and cotton.
Aside from João Pessoa, Campina Grande, Patos, Santa Rita, Sousa, Guarabira (home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Guarabira), Areia, and Arara are included in its major cities as well.
Next to João Pessoa, Campina Grande is second to Paraiba’s most populous cities. Translated in English as “Great Plain”, it is considered to be a very important city in the Agreste – a Northeastern Brazilian subregion.
Many tourists visit the city during the month of June as it is here when the largest Saint John’s Festival throughout the world, also known as O Maior São João do Mundo, takes place. It is also famous in Brazil for being the most traditional out of all its season carnival festivals. The Meeting of the New Conscience every February, Vaquejada Park Ivandro Cunha Lima every March, Campina Grande Winter Festival in August, and the Animal Exposition in October are included in the city’s yearly celebration as well.
Among the things that people look forward to in the city are its libraries that offer a wide range of resources for knowledge, its museums giving tourists a glimpse of its past, and its squares and parks that provide a picturesque view of the city and a venue for leisure activities.
Located 142 kilometers from the capital city, João Pessoa, Arara was originally inhabited by the people from Cariri. It was founded on December 19, 1961 and with a total area of 89 square kilometers. As of 2007, the city’s population is 12, 920.
Although not as rich and as large as the states of Sao Paolo and Rio, tourists who’ll visit the state of Paraiba will find a number of interesting places and sights worth visiting.