Text and Photos by Leandro H. Santos: In a two hours walk you can learn Minas Gerais history, to see where and how the first people lived in the hills looking for gold in the mines.
The area is a municipal park since February 29, 2011, but only in the paper, because nothing was made to protect the area or the people who lives around the mines.
The other aspect is the importance of all area as water producer, many families live using the water from the old mines.
Other aspect is environment : eagles “carcará” make nestles in the mines entrances, and there are many other birds and animals like guará wolf that cross the park area.
The called “Gogo Park” name comes from old English miners that bought the mining area of João Vamos Vamos. Soon they translate the name to English,
Go – Go, easier to speak. But the hills have the Church´s name : Saint Santana in Gogo, and Santo Antônio in Passagem. In these places around 1700 to 1800 centuries, lived more than 40 thousand people, most slaves, that worked in the gold´s mines.
The old church of Santana was built in 1714 and demolish in 1971 by Dom Oscar, Bishop of Mariana. Today after a eight years justice process all the pieces of the church came from Belo Horizonte and they are in Mariana waiting its re-building since 2011.
In the area you can see old houses ruins, streets, churches, cemeteries, water tanks, mines, and many objects used by the first miners.
In spite of public inactivity schools and popular initiatives are maintaining the park idea to keep history of Minas Culture that can be observed visiting the places.
There´s no control of who enter in the areas, and people can destroy the sites throwing stones in the mines, destroying the ways practicing motocross rally, or catching souvenirs from the site.
To walk in this old mines area you must know the way and follow a guide.
There are many “ sari” holes that can cause fatal accident .
The view is very beautiful and the ones that have courage enough to enter in the old gold mines additional cares are needed, ask a guide instructions.
Tthe water that formed a small tank used to gold production in the past, it is called “ lagoa seca” Morro Santana.
This area can be a very popular park as an open museum, but there interests to reopen the gold mineration activity are in conflict to the ones that want the area for tourism development. Many meetings were made to discuss the Gogo Park but nothing was made. What is saving the area from degradation is the popular activity and schools campaigns. This place has a very big tourism potential that can make a new era to Mariana and new opportunities to people.