The settlement process of Malhada Vermelha is related to the donation of land for colonization by the Dutch in 1669; Santo André started as a farm linked to a small town on the coast, with the same name producing sugar cane. The families of workers grew and gradually each took a place in this area. In 1908, a chapel was built in the region. Later, Father Cícero donated the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the city.
Santo André became a stopping point for lunchbugs and drovers for both trade and rest, they led pack animals and were responsible for supplying the interior of some northeastern states, such as Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte. They sold products such as beans, flour, corn, rice and rapadura. Hence the start of the city fair that still supports families of local merchants.
Santo André’s economy, between 1965 and 75, was on the rise with the so-called white gold. The term refers to the cotton culture, which was of considerable importance in the economic and social context of the northeast region and the basis of agriculture in that period.
In the Malhada Vermelha community, electricity was only available in 2009 and the community remains without running water and basic sanitation.
Families living in the community are born and raised around the municipality of Santo André and Malhada Vermelha represents the second largest community in the region.