The Ribeira district began as a holiday getaway for the patricians of Salvador, who built beautiful houses where they could escape the heat and crowds of the city, to enjoy the constant fresh breezes. Located five miles north of the city center, Ribeira is situated on a narrow peninsula that juts into the Bay of All Saints, with one side facing toward Bomfin and the open Atlantic, while the other side faces onto the narrow bay that ends at the Alagados, and that side was developed as a fisherman's port.
During the twentieth century, the neighborhood declined, and, as Salvador rapidly grew, poor people constructed shacks on stilts all along the shoreline, even in front of the ICBIE. Urban renewal of the last twenty years ended that abuse, and the conditions have been steadily improving. Now, with the ICBIE bringing quality education to local kids and offering cultural events for the entire community, Ribeira is experiencing a real Renaissance.