nunc editions | 2017

As the rain fell, Mr. Marcelino stayed in his room and warmed himself with fresh coffee. The wind swayed the trees and swept the sand of the unpaved streets. He calmly talked to me, speaking of the days he spent at the Colônia. Among several aspects, people search for well-being in the city where they live and develop ties of affection with the place. It has been 80 years since the founding of the Colônia, a city build to house people with leprosy. I asked myself, in silence: "What was going on in that city, what is its history and oddities?"

On elevated terrain on the Contorno highway, in Cariacica, countryside of Espírito Santo, is the Pedro Fontes Hospital, the former Colônia of Itanhenga. Due to its mountainous geography, those who pass the road do not see it. The city stands on a plateau between the hills named Mestre Álvaro and Moxuara. In the past, the Colony had about 2,965 acres of land, virtually inaccessible. It was, in itself, a universe with its own determinations and dynamics. The Colony- Hospitals were built and planned with the configuration of an autonomous city. They had in their core, in addition to the hospital pavilions, different facilities such as school, city hall, library, sports field, amusement area, stable and police station. In all, 33 Colony-Hospitals were built around Brazil to house, under a compulsory regime, people with leprosy.