Bom Jesus da Lapa: Tradition and the Future in the Heart of Brazil
Bom Jesus da Lapa is a place that is full of energy. The energy of its people, of its centuries-old traditions that have made the city a “spiritual capital” in Brazil, and of the nature that surrounds the region, from the mighty waters of the Rio São Francisco – the fourth largest in Latin America – to the shining sun that brightens the skies of the State of Bahia.
In June 2017, Enel Green Power started production on two solar plants in the area: made up of two installations - Bom Jesus da Lapa (80 MW) and Lapa (78 MW). The complex will generate 340 GWh a year, enough energy to meet the annual energy needs of 166,000 households.
In the Caves of Padre Francesco
Over 2 million pilgrims every year come to this town on the banks of the Rio São Francisco, tracing the steps of the Portuguese Francisco de Mendonça Mar, who came to this corner of Brazil at the turn of the eighteenth century and became Padre Francisco of solitude for the people of the region.
"Located almost 800 km from the capital of the State of Bahia, Bom Jesus da Lapa is one of Brazil’s “spiritual capitals”."
Painter, sculptor and goldsmith, Francisco took refuge in the nearby caves to live as a hermit, in complete solitude with the company of a crucifix alone. He came into contact with the local indigenous population, for whom he performed works of charity and assistance. He soon became well-known in the region and his reputation as a holy man began to bring the curious and faithful to Bom Jesus da Lapa, and began a steady stream of pilgrims that continues today.
Training and Employment
Our presence in Bom Jesus da Lapa goes far beyond renewables and picks up on the traditions of coexistence and sharing that have always been part of the common feeling of the region’s population over the centuries.
With the Enel Shares Opportunities programme, we offer courses of professional development aimed at people in the local community that live near our solar plants.
We are committed to offering opportunities to improve access to the job market, thus helping to increase the per capita income of the local community.
"In 2016, we launched training courses to provide professional certification and give people the chance to gain practical work experience."
Together with the Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI), an agency of the National Confederation of Brazilian Industry committed to professional training for over 70 years, we created bi-monthly courses dedicated to multi-functional construction and starting off as an electrician.
With Young People: Quilombola Culture and Care for the Environment
In collaboration with the NGO Viração, we’ve launched the Young Generation project aimed at the youth of the communities of Araçá Volta and Lagoa do Peixe, historic places of Quilombola culture, founded by African slaves fleeing from prison and from colonial exploitation during the sixteenth century.
"The youth are involved in workshops dedicated to discovering their culture and identity and attend events about the tradition of their ancestors, passed down orally from generation to generation."
Our activities with young people also concern the environment, sustainability and sources of clean energy.
The many initiatives that we promote with the NGO Viração include themed games and drawing contests, planting of school gardens that “offer students a chance to expand their knowledge from school and promote interaction between disciplines”, explains Juliana Moreira, director of the public school Josino Pereira Dias, and the distribution of guides about organic farming and natural techniques for insect