Mato Grosso do Sul

Known for the dynamism of its agriculture, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul has exuberant fauna and flora, especially in the Pantanal region , a destination for visitors from all over the world.

Natural aspects

According to, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul has more than 357,124 km 2 of surface. It borders Goiás , Mato Grosso, Paraná and São Paulo , in addition to the border with Bolivia.

Its geological formation has three very distinct units: Paraná sedimentary basin, Amazon platform and Paraguay-Araguaia metamorphic belt. The Paraná basin occupies part of the Central Brazilian plateau, with extensive flat surfaces and in some escarpments ranging from 200 to 600 m in altitude. In the northwestern portion of the state is the great depression near the Paraguay River that separates the Brazilian central plateau from the Andes mountain range.

Much of the territory of Mato Grosso do Sul is formed by an extensive alluvial plain subject to several floods during the year, the Pantanal plain , which presents varying altitudes. In the vicinity of Corumbá is the Urucum massif, rich in iron ore and manganese.

The predominant climate is tropical, with dry winters and rainy summers. The regions close to the plateau have milder temperatures. In the lowland regions, on the other hand, temperatures are higher and the rainfall index is approximately 1500 mm per year.

The hydrography of Mato Grosso do Sul has a large drainage system for the Paraná, Paraguay rivers and their tributaries, which flow into the Pantanal plains and other low lands.

The vegetation is marked by savannahs, fields and the Pantanal complex. The Atlantic Forest predominates in a small area located on the banks of the Paraná River.

Historical aspects

By the Treaty of Tordesillas , the regions that currently make up Mato Grosso do Sul belonged to Spain. The occupation was driven, already in the seventeenth century, by Jesuits from Asunción, in Paraguay, who established the Itatim missions there. Between 1630 and 1650, however, the São Paulo bandeirantes destroyed the villages and captured thousands of natives, later sold as slaves.

In the following decades, Portugal and Spain disputed control of the Brazilian Midwest , granted to the government of Lisbon in 1750, by the Treaty of Madrid . In 1775, the Luso-Brazilians established Fort Coimbra, for the defense of the region. Nearby, on the banks of the Paraguay River, came the settlement that gave rise to Corumbá, an important river port and gateway to the Pantanal stretch belonging to Mato Grosso do Sul.

Despite the reinforcement of the Portuguese presence in the area of ​​Corumbá and in the northern portion of the territory of Mato Grosso, the Hispanic influence remained strong in other regions. Thus, in the first decades of the 19th century, the southwest of the current territory of Mato Grosso do Sul was under the control of Paraguay, an independent country since 1811.

In the following decades, the expansion of herds in the east and center-south of the territory began. The region of the current city of Dourados would be known as “ Campos da Vacaria” . It was the first manifestation of Mato Grosso do Sul’s vocation for livestock, which is manifested even in the name of the capital, Campo Grande.

During the Paraguayan War , the southern part of the territory of Mato Grosso was invaded and occupied by Paraguayans. With the end of the conflict, cattle ranching spread across the region. At the same time, a new product appeared that would contribute to the prosperity of the province: yerba mate.

In the 20th century, the development of the current state of Mato Grosso do Sul gained new impetus with the opening of the Northwest of Brazil railroad, which established communication between the cities of Bauru, in São Paulo, and Corumbá. The number of migrants increased and there was the expansion of several cities in the Midwest that were basically dedicated to cattle raising.

It was at this juncture that the city of Campo Grande , the current capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, became the economic center of the south of the state of Mato Grosso. The division of Mato Grosso into two federal units was defined by law in 1977, at the initiative of the federal government.

The economy

The Paraná basin , in the east of the territory, is the main economic area of ​​Mato Grosso do Sul. It has fertile soils and many forests, good transport infrastructure and an urbanization spot influenced by São Paulo, the great urban center of the Southeast, which favors the integration of the financial markets of the two regions. Três Lagoas, a municipality bordering the state of São Paulo, the fourth city in the state in terms of population, is one of the poles of local development.

Other dynamic centers are the cities of Dourados , considered an agricultural and agro-industrial hub, Corumbá, an industrial, mining and tourist hub, and the capital, Campo Grande , the most important and most populous urban center in the state.

In the three sectors of the economy, Mato Grosso do Sul stands out with high rates in the Brazilian GDP. In the primary sector , soybean, sugar cane, cotton and wheat stand out, in addition to the traditional yerba mate culture. In livestock, herds are basically made up of cattle and pigs.

The secondary sector basically comprises the wood, food and non-metallic mineral industries. With large deposits of iron, tin, manganese, limestone and marble, the state offers many jobs in these areas, in the industries that work with mining. In turn, the agribusiness benefits from livestock and the spread of soybean crops.

The tertiary sector followed with great development, mainly ecological tourism in the Pantanal region and in Bonito, municipality of the Serra de Bodoquena, south of the Pantanal.

Tourism and culture

In addition to its traditional agricultural vocation, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul has been exploring its many tourist attractions since its inception, with an emphasis on ecological, cultural, rural and business tourism.

The eco-tourism has the poles the Pantanal and Bonito. It has a wide range of natural attractions: waterfalls, rapids, caves, lakes and numerous and diverse fauna. It is possible to walk on trails inside the forest, explore the caves of the region, go for walks on the rivers and swim in its crystalline waters. The success of the activity does not depend only on natural beauty: the municipality is concerned with training guides and limiting the daily number of visitors to each tourist spot to promote environmental preservation.

Another route that is much sought after by visitors goes through the farms that develop rural tourism . In them, it is possible to follow the day-to-day life of people living in the countryside and in particular the tasks of raising livestock.

The business tourism occurs in large urban centers, especially in the cities of Campo Grande and Corumbá, which centralize mining, agriculture and livestock. In these cities there are dynamic business and commercial centers.

The cultural tourism is conducted in various regions of the state, which received an important legacy of Spanish immigration, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Paraguayan and Syrian-Lebanese, among others. The Paraguayan influence stands out, present in aspects such as the use of the Guarani language and the consumption of yerba mate. Unlike gaucho chimarrão, the drink is served cold and is called tererê.

The Pantanal complex

The other major tourist hub in Mato Grosso do Sul is the Pantanal complex. Considered one of the largest wetlands on the planet, the Pantanal belongs to the hydrographic basin of the Upper Paraguay.

In Brazil, it covers territories of Mato Grosso and mainly Mato Grosso do Sul, with floodplains periodically flooded. The region is drained by the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, being influenced by three biomes: Amazon , Atlantic Forest and Cerrado .

With a great hydrographic extension, the Pantanal is famous for its biodiversity of flora and fauna. The ecosystems found in this region range from aquatic environments, dominion of fish and alligators, to dry ones, such as cerradões. During the floods, cattle are driven to the highest terrain, where they live with herbivores.

Mato Grosso do Sul

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