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Helena Michaud and the Superagui blackout

The Superagüi Island, on the coast of Parana, now a National Park, is one of those paradises, picturesque places where time has shaped such an exuberant green beauty so nobody can put defect. In this bucolic space lives a small community that likes a good prose and has many stories to tell.

The “blackout” story of Superagui is true, as genuine as Helena Michaud’s indignation. “What I really like is ‘candlelight’ – said the old lady, who was a direct descendant of the Swiss William Michaud.

Before tell this story, created by an old and late lady, I hope she gives me the license to tell this story and rest in peace her soul, in the middle of the beautiful forest she always loved and lived! Even cursing the ‘blackout’ to Barra do Superague community, I have for this lady a deep admiration. Especially because she was loyal to her principles.

“I am not resigned with this eletrical energy thing”, lamented. “When I die I want that the electricity runs out”, prophesied.

Believe it or not, the day of her death ended, or better, turned every light off. And the blackout lasted for 24 hours, until the end of the funeral.

So, this way, this little lady, at age 92, when she passed away in 1999, became famous in the community where she lived – Barra do Superagui and the story of the blackout is always counted on bonfire, in full moon night, when everyone surrenders to enjoy the sea and spend sometime to prose, to make time pass in this special place, probably the dwelling of God. It is important to mention that the eletric energy had arrived on this place one year before her death: 1998.

Helena Michaud was Swiss by surname, but very, very Brazilian in love for nature. The little lady descended directly from the European William Michaud, who moved from Switzerland to this faraway place, back in the eighteen hundred’s gone, when he was only 20 years old.


Think about it, imagine what was the madness and daring to adventure a boat trip to a country like Brazil and arrive in a place like Superagui at the time – if until today is exuberant in its fores, that is, until today is still wild, primitive.

Preserved, Thank God!…And also to activists and environmentalists who fought so hard in the 70 and 80’s to avoid destruction. (Under the Chapel! Xô…Xôoo… Companies like this should be banished from the world. Chapel was a company of land which tried to create buffalo in Superagui. For this, they needed to deforest everything. It was hard for lawmen, case which can be compared to a bang-bang film. The old taxman from IAP/PR and Ibama are testimonials of real wars with gunman).

But then, returning to William Michaud story, it is known he never returned to his homeland. Married a native and had nine children and like this he kept staying. Like any European, had an enhanced education and know how to paint. Left as heritage beautiful watercolors which depict the nature of the Atlantic Forest of early colonization of Parana.

And talking about inheritance, blue and green eyes of the tanned natives, traits merged between Indian, black and European, is the legacy left by those first settlers, say those, because it was not only Michaud the adventurer of those parts. Some French also settled there and there is even a legend which says that a pirate French ship sank there.

To arrive in this paradise on earth, where dolphins swim back and forth, parrots purple face fly in flocks with their partners – are monogamous – each evening to return to sleep in their special place, on Parrots Island, in the bay of Guaraqueçaba, Biosphere Reserve, place where sunset makes the water’s color turn gold, it is necessary to take a line boat in Paranaguá and stand firm three hour trip. The Island is located inside the National Park of Superagui, one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

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In place like this, so special, certainly live and lived special people like Helena Michaud. A place where it is possible to take a sea bath in a very dark night and go out illuminated in body and soul, but literally, in body, because the plankton in absurd amounts stick to your skin and transform you into a beam of light in the middle of the evening pitch. Unique experience, surreal! It’s beautiful enjoy the sea without artificial lighting and without fear of being attacked by a violent maniac. There, is still possible to live this peace.

Perhaps Helena Michaud has caused the ‘blackout’ to alert the world that we need to take a break, or better, put the feet on brakes and stop the destruction of places so true …

Sanctuaries on earth!

• Superagui Island is located on northern coast of Paraná, in the Bay of Paranaguá, in the city of Guaraqueçaba. Near the border between the states of Parana and Sao Paulo is considered an artificial island, for being formed after the opening of Varadouro Channel, separating the peninsula from the continent in 1953. The creation of Superagui National Park, in 1989, favored the preservation of the region. The Park is divided with the Patos River Valley.

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