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About Brazil

The People

Brazilians are composed of a variety of people and races, whose characteristics, including resilience, natural warmth and profound artistic sensibility, contribute to the unique Brazilian identity. Brazilians are internationally recognized by their happiness, love for festivals and celebrations such as the world famous Carnival with its street parades, costumes, music, dancing, and parties. Patriotism and pride in the nation are strong. Despite class distinctions and the diversity of the population, people are proud to be Brazilian. Families are large and close in Brazil. Young adults normally live with their parents until they get married. The current population is over 200 million, predominately young and concentrated along the Atlantic coastal areas of the southeastern and northeastern states.

There are three basic racial sources for the Brazilian people. To the original inhabitants (Indians) were added successive waves of Europeans (mainly Portuguese) and Africans. In the 16th century, the area, which is now Brazil, was inhabited by several hundred Indigenous tribes who, while racially similar, spoke different languages and had different cultures. Groups speaking the Tupi and Guarani languages lived along the coast and in the adjoining hinterland and they established intermarriages with the Portuguese settlers.

Today Brazil's native Indians sum up about 250,000. They are divided into roughly 200 groups and they speak some 180 different languages. The Indians live in vast areas, equal to ten percent of Brazil's total territory, which has been set aside from them by the Federal Government.

Starting in the middle of the 16th century, African ethnic groups were brought to Brazil to work as slaves in the sugarcane and, later, in gold and diamond mines and in coffee plantations. The integration process that had begun between the Europeans and the Indians rapidly spread to include the black slaves.

This racial mixing went on as Brazil began, at the end of the 19th century, to receive increasing numbers of immigrants from all over the world. Portugal remained the single most important source of migrants to Brazil, with Italy second, followed by Lebanon.

In the first half of the 20th Century, as a consequence of war or economic pressures, sizable contingents of immigrants came to Brazil from parts of western, central, and eastern Europe. In 1908, 640 immigrants came to Brazil from Japan. Because of the welcoming social environment, a Japanese migration trend was established. By 1969, 247.312 Japanese had come to Brazil. Today Brazilians of Japanese decent are the largest such group outside Japan.

History

Recent archeological discoveries suggest that Brazil may have been inhabited as long ago as 40,000 years. In addition, there is continuing speculation that Brazil may have been visited by the 15th century Portuguese explorers who sailed widely in the South Atlantic, trading with Africa and settling the Azores and Madeira Islands. However, Brazil was formally claimed in 1500 by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral . It was ruled from Lisbon as a colony until 1808 when the Portuguese royal family, having fled from Napoleon's army, established the seat of government first in Salvador and later in Rio de Janeiro .

Brazil became a kingdom in 1821. Dom Pedro I successfully declared Brazil's independence in 1822 and became emperor. Dom Pedro II ruled from 1831 to 1889, when a federal republic was established. From 1889 to 1930, the government was a constitutional democracy with limited voting rights. The presidency alternated between the dominant states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. This period ended with a military coup by Getúlio Vargas , who remained as dictator until 1945; and from 1945 onward, there were elected presidents with one military coup interrupting in 1964.

In 1988, a new constitution was ratified and direct elections (without the electoral college) took place in 1989. The challenges remaining are to end corruption and bring economic stability.

Geography

Brazil is the fifth most populated country in the world and the most populous country in Latin America with 200 million people. It is the fifth largest in size. The country is ethnically diverse and has a vibrant culture of music, dance, art, food, media, and fashion. Brazil is a Federal Republic with 26 states and a federal district, where Brasilia, the capital is located. The executive branch consists of the president (chief of state and head of government) popularly elected to a single 4-year term.

The Climate varies a great deal according to latitude and altitude. The annual average temperature is approximately 28 degrees centigrade in the north and 20 in the south. The national sport is futebol (soccer) with a very passionate following. Basketball, volleyball, swimming, fishing, boating, and car racing are also popular.

Language

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. Except for the languages spoken by Indian tribes living in remote reservations, Portuguese is the only language of daily life. There are no regional dialects. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America. However, Spanish is more or less understood by many Brazilians.

Outstanding Cities

São Paulo

The capital city, São Paulo, is the 6th largest city in the world with over 19 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. A variety of nationalities such as Italian, Japanese and Spanish amongst others establish its rich cultural diversity. São Paulo is also known for its international cuisine, being named the gastronomic capital of the world. Here the paulista (São Paulo resident) and the tourists have available a range of activities and past times:110 museums, 260 movie theaters, 160 theaters, 54 Shopping center, parks, 90,000 annual events, from horse racing to Formula 1 grand prix, night clubs etc.

Monte Alegre do Sul-São Paulo

At an hour drive (90 mi) from the city of São Paulo, the town of Monte Alegre do Sul, with 7,000 inhabitants, is crossed by the Camanducaia River and other minor streams.  Located in the Mantiqueira mountain range, born in the midst of valleys and mountains, cities here are called the "São Paulo Water Circuit" (Circuito das Aguas Paulista), which have in common the temperate valleys and waterfalls, the abundance of excellent mineral water and the influence of Italian immigration, along with the heritage of the coffee culture.

Remaining fragments of the Atlantic Rain Forest, together with the local topography, allow for a significant bio diversity to thrive in the green, bucolic mountain landscapes, where toucans, parakeets and other noisy and colorful birds fly freely.  The São Paulo Water Circuit is known as one of the best places in the state for the practice of outdoor action sports, with several operators offering adventure parks and more than 17 sporting options.

Here you will find a bit more about our cities and see for yourself what makes it such a different and pleasant option for travel.

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Florianópolis- Santa Catarina

Capital of the state of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis boasts the title of being one of the best cities to live in Brazil.  It was ranked 3rd over more than 4,000 Brazilian cities.

With 342,000 inhabitants, Florianópolis is a modern and cosmopolitan city that offers everythting from calm and remote fishing villages to rather populated and busy neighborhoods such as Ingleses and Canasvierias in the north portion of the island. The center of the island is also very busy and where all the big companies, banks, and malls are found.  There are many bars and restaurants in this part of the city as well.

Influenced by the Portuguese of the Azores colony, the population of Florianópolis live at a different pace than most of the other state capitals in the country.  Being one of the least populated and with one of the highest quality of life standards in the country, the often called "manezinhos" are extremely proud of their land and customs.  Some traditional companies still preserve the extended lunch time and close for up to two and a half hours in the middle of the day, a fact that would be unacceptable in São Paulo, Rio or any other capital of the southeast and southern regions of Brazil.

 

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