Mangue means swamp or wetland, the place where some saltwater fish go to lay their eggs before returning to the ocean. Manguinhos therefore, means little swamps. This whole area was once water. In fact, they say that if you dig down just below the road surface, you’ll hit water. Jacare means alligator...Jacarezinho, little alligator. I always wondered why. But most of Jacare was underwater until about sixty years ago, and it teemed with alligators. People used to fish where my house now stands, use boats to get around the neighborhood I now walk through. Nayra was explaining this to me the other day; apparently this was all within recent memory (i.e. grandparents). Oh, the things you don't know until you ask!
Alligators on my daily commute.
Water under my house.
Putrid swamp smell in the summer heat.
City life. Ha!