Umuarama – 'Tupy' expression for "Where friends meet"Umuarama, a 240 Hectares private area, covered with native preserved forests, is 6 km out of the city Campos do Jordão – Sao Paulo. There are located the highest sources ( 1,800 meters above sea-level ) of brooks that flow into the La Plata river estuary. See TRAILS.
The legal acquisition of the land also-called "Umuarama Retreat", took place in 1933 by the "Associação Umuarama de Campos do Jordão” an ecumenic project conceived by a wise Presbyterian minister - Erasmo Braga, integrating a group of evangelic churches and denominations. There was built an Hotel originally for “Retreats”.
The “Associação”, established leases for small lots of land, to persons interested in building their week end homes. The lease-contracts were in force indefinitely, and contained restrictions, as prohibiting: hunting, fishing, sale of alcoholic beverages, dances, any commercial activity, as well as producing noises that might molest any neighbors, etc.
The formal signed documents secured the lessees the possession of their properties granting them, in case of the Association’s extinction, the definitive transfer of their lots to their names, by the Association or its successors. Since the closing down of the Hotel Umuarama, a so called condominium 'in fact' emerged through the union of the lessees, for protecting the area and providing the necessary maintenance of: internal roads, security, water supply, etc. That status remained for over three decades.
In 1976 Mr.Hering, assisted by his S.Paulo-office, managed to gather all owners, including the “Associação Umuarama” (at the time represented by Dr.Lindolfo Konder Anders), for the purpose of building a gate (shelter) at the entrance of the estate, in order to ensure the private ownership of the whole area. That small construction saved Umuarama from becoming a public domain.
He personally, employed a staff for the daily tasks related to the maintenance. All happened with the consent and contribution of all owners. From that time on, access to the area became restricted to proprietors or invited guests. Records of entrances and exits (day and night) were kept on file by the S.Paulo-office. In 1991, six years after the extinction of the original “Associação” (1985), the majority of "tenants" were provided with their definitive titles signed by the association's successors, then registered at the local Registry of deeds.
Presently, half of the area (110 Hectares) belongs to Mackenzie Presbyterian Institute, as well as to 53 owners of small lots, and the other half (East side), to the Association of the Methodist Church.
The abandoned building of the former Hotel was then completely restored by Mackenzie Presbyterian Institute and turned into Mackenzie's Resort (for teachers, ministers, staff and pupils), called “Colônia de Férias Mackenzie”.
On March 21, 2007, Mr. Hering managed to gather all owners, establishing the "Associação dos Proprietários no Umuarama” - ( Umuarama's Owners Association ), with the same purpose as the previous status, but according the Law, as well as representing the owners’ interests and specifically destined to preserve the environment, providing the maintenance of the internal roads, walking trails, general surveillance and water distribution to all properties and assuring the compliance of the original restrictions established by the founders of Umuarama. The employees registered as Mr. Hering's were properly settled and employed right away by the new Association - "Associação dos Proprietarios no Umuarama".
On behalf of the “environment protection” in reality, Umuarama is presently an unique area in Campos do Jordão – an authentic example of untouched nature, a model of preservation, not solely due to Legal restrictions established by the State's “Environment Department”, but due to the spontaneous firm decision of its owners in preserving nature there, as it was found over eighty years ago, where multiple species of animals feel safe.
Associação dos Proprietários no Umuarama - Tel.: (011) 3258-4635
William Conceição Hering – S.Paulo