The origin of the toponym “Nordeste”
“Nordeste” means North East in English, which, according to different historians, indicates its geographical position as well as the direction of the winds in this area.
The first settlements of Nordeste area occurred in the second half of the 15th century, during the Portuguese era of discovery. After much labour and land clearing the settlers were able to plant wheat, pastel and fruits.
Various churches were built during the 16th century that were later joined by temples constructed in later time periods.
Due to the great difficulty of communication to the exterior and the poor roads, the Nordeste area was considered the “East Africa of São Miguel”. Until the end of the 19th century, boats were the favoured means of communication, sea conditions permitting.
Nordeste had opportunity to participate in Portuguese history during the 19th century, when liberal troops landed at Achadinha to fight the battle of Ladeira da Velha (1831), and when Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro, a North-easterner, was elected prime Minister.
In 1888, two newspapers were founded, but unfortunately they are now extinct.