Official Name          : Federal Republic of Brazil

Capital                      : Brasilia

Currency                  : Real (BRL)

Language                : Portugese

Population               : 205.000.000

Visa Required         : NO


Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fourth largest country in the world. It is therefore not surprising that the country has a wealth of different nature and animals due to a big difference in climate and geography. Everyone knows the wide sandy beaches such as Copacobana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro and the gigantic rainforest area the Amazon.


In addition, Brazil has the Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world where thousands of animals such as the jaguar and the anaconda are protected against poachers. But Brazil has more - how about the Amazon river, the gold- and silver mines, the amazing Iguazu waterfalls, dune areas and numerous nature parks where you can hike, walk and swim in rivers and lakes. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to set foot in Brazil and began to colonize the local population (the Indians).


Jesuits brought the Indians the Catholic faith and they were traded to work on the large plantations. Especially the French and Dutch have tried to include parts of the current Brazil with mixed results. Today there are still many colonial fortresses, houses and buildings to admire as in beautiful cities such as Olinda, Belem and Sao Luis, all of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.


The Brazilians are diverse in origin: it is a mix of Africans (who were enslaved by the Europeans), Europeans and original inhabitants, the Indians. Although elements of African and Indian cultures live on in Brazilian culture, Brazil predominantly has a Western culture Approximately 89% of the population is Christian.


Other striking facts is that Brazilians are crazy about parties and football. Brazil has won the World Cup no less than five times and has produced countless world-famous footballers of which Pele, Zico, Ronaldo and Neymar are the best known.


The biggest party is apparently the “Carnival” that is celebrated everywhere in the country but where Rio de Janeiro steals the big show with the biggest procession in the world. There is even a special stadium built where this parade is held: “the Sambadrome”. Brazil has been struggling with a very sharp fall in the economy for a few years. This results in higher taxes and cuts and numerous demonstrations on the street. President Rousseff was first suspended and then deposed because she had offered a job to former president, despite being suspected of corruption.


Add to that the fact that there are ministers coming and going in the Brazilian government, a Greek ambassador has recently been murdered and countless senior administrators are suspected (and convicted) for fraud and corruption and it is clear that the situation in Brazil is currently not very good. There are big uprisings and riots in prisons and more than 120 people have recently died during demonstrations by the Brasilian police. Meanwhile, the army has been deployed and people fear that the situation will not immediately improve.


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