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Hortolandia

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Distance from the capital: 115 km (71 mi.)
Area: 62 km 2
Population: 201,795 (est. 2006)
Altitude: 587 m (1,925 ft)
Gross Product: R$ 1.799.169.590,00 (est. 2003 by IBGE). Notice that Hortolândia is one of the cities with fastest growth rate in São Paulo and even Brazil; non-official estimatives for Gross Product are R$ 2.8 billion by the end of 2005 and about R$ 6 billion by the beginning of 2008 (read notes below).

Origin of name: the prefix Horto in Portuguese designates a 'plantation', a cultivation of vegetables; so, Hortolandia could mean the Land of Vegetables. In this case, however, this was but a coincidence. The name actually derives from João Ortolan, who was the owner of a farm in the area in 1947, long before Hortolandia became an autonomous municipality in 1991; Ortoland called his farm Parque Ortolandia. When the region became a district, it was called Hortolandia, name which was eventually adopted when the district became a municipality.

History

Until the end of the 19th century, Hortolandia was part of the municipality of Campinas. The area was then known as Jacuba, which means Black Land in indian language; the entire region was then used for cultivation of sugar cane, cotton and coffee; in the previous centuries, Jacuba used to be a resting point for cowmen who conduted hordes and slaves across the State.
In 1896, a telegraph post was installed in Jacuba; in 1917, the post became a train station. In 1947, João Ortolan loots his farm; in 1958, Jacuba is promoted to District of Sumaré and named Hortolândia. On May 19th 1991 Hortolândia becomes and autonomous municipality.

Economy

In 1971, IBM was looking for a place in Brazil to set up a new factory of electric typewriters.
The city of Sumaré, in the interior of São Paulo, was chosen thanks to a number of competitive advantages: it was near the largest cities in Brazil; it was neighbour to Viracopos, the largest cargo airport in Brazil (handy for the importation of parts); the area is surrounded by several Universities, which supplied the qualified manpower.
As typewriters became obsolete, IBM changed the products of the factory. In the 1980s, the product was desktops; in the 1990s, servers. In 2000, when Hortolândia had become the new IBM decided to shut down the line of products, and turned the now Hortolândia factory into a service center, which sells information relted services to other companies around the world. IBM has four such centers in the world: in China, India, Argentina and Brazil; the Brazilian center is the largest one.

IBM flourished and helped attract other technology companies to Hortolandia. The city government offered tax breaks, subsidies and even free land. World class companies like Celestica, Comsat, Lanmar, and Magneti Marelli opened their Brazilian branches there. Large Brazilian groups like Casas Bahia, Itaú and Banespa, among several others, built their information centers there.
In 2006, Dell announced that they would transfer their unity in Brazil from the Southern State of Rio Grande do Sul to Hortolândia; the new line should be shipping PCs by the end of 2007 (update: Dell opened the new factory in May of 2007, and shut down the old factory in Rio Grande do Sul). The investment is relatively low (R$ 38 million, or about US$ 17 million), but as the factory will supply all the Dell PCs and notebooks in Brazil, it will count much towards increasing the industrial production of the city.

The Economy is thriving.
To cater to all the skillful, demanding people who came to work on the new industries, a cluster of products and services providers was created, particularly in entertainment, food processing and real estate sectors.
Over the past few years, unemployment rate fell from 17% to 4% (2006). The mayor Angelo Perugini (term 2005-2008) says that the Gross Product of the city rose from R$ 1 billion in 2002 to R$ 2.8 billion in 2005; when Dell is operating at full fledge, the Product whould reach R$ 6 billion.
This incredible rate makes Hortolândia the city with the highest growth rate in São Paulo and Brazil.

Social issues

Despite recent progress, Hortolândia has still serious social issues.
Hortolândia has one of the highest homicide rates in São Paulo.
About 30% of the population has no paved streets and no electricity. There is a penitentiary in the outskirts of the city, with 11,000 inmates (est. 2006); escapes (and attempts of) are common.
By lack of urban planning, there is only one hotel in Hortolândia: Hotel Denargo, Rua Guatambu, 20 Parque dos Pinheiros, phone (19) 3865-2094. Campinas has a large hotel network.

Other sites about Hortolandia

»www.hortolandia.sp.gov.br. Official site.
»www.hortolandia.com. Portal.
»Hoyler Faculty. Superior education institution, with campus in Hortolandia.

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