Blogs from Brazil, South America


South America » Brazil » Pernambuco » Fernando de Noronha February 17th 2024

It wasn’t until my third work trip to Brazil that I got around to spending some time travelling beyond the area where we were working. The quantity of photos I’ve added to this blog, way more than usual, and these are only the photos from my third visit, confirm that I really should have spent more time travelling around. Brazil was unexpectedly great. I don’t know why I say unexpectedly because I had visited Brazil in pre-blogging days and really enjoyed it. During the 1-year round-the-world trip in 2002-2003, we arrived in Rio de Janeiro for carnival intending to spend a few days celebrating then a few weeks travelling around the south of the country. In the end, carnival was so much fun that we spent two weeks there followed by just another few days for ... read more
Morro do Pai Inácio, Chapada Diamantina National Park
Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha
Pelourinho, the old upper city of Salvador da Bahia

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro December 16th 2023

Our last big meeting of the week was a gradation for the women entrepreneurs who have completed their program. The organization will continue to interact with them such as the savings challenge that will start in January. But, their formal workshops are complete. Several of the women shared that their mentor offered to stay in contact so they can work through problems the women might face in their business together. The morning was filled with sharing how they have grown and how they hope to continue to evolve. We then moved the festivities to a restaurant in the favela where we eat, laughed and ended with handing out their certificates of completion. I was able to sit in on some meetings put together by the government to engage with local non profits with the purpose of ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande December 15th 2023

After conversations we had the pervious week it was decided the focus of our Monday workshop with the entrepreneurs would be creating a habit of saving. The teacher, who is a volunteer, created her own savings challenge for the women with a year-end prize. She set a goal for the women to increase their savings each week by 5 reals ($1USD). The first half of the year is quite achievable, but the second half will be a challenge for most of the women. I shared my concern that women might stop the habit of saving if they fall out of the running for the prize. We plan to expand this challenge to encourage all the women to create the weekly habit of saving. This week we also had the end of the year gathering for Instituto ... read more
Volunteer Party
Savings Workshop
Savings Workshop

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Teresópolis December 4th 2023

We started the week with a visit to one of the more dangerous favelas that the organization works in. Each favela is either controlled by the city, cartel or militia. This favela, Cidade de Deus, is controlled by cartel so we can only enter when a community liaison accompanies us. While drugs are displayed and sold on the street like vegetables, the cartel does not allow the use of the drugs in the street. You actually have to leave the community to see groups of drug users in plain sight. I met with a group of the women to select a new class of entrepreneurs to start the business training courses and eventually apply for a micro loan. On Tuesday we attended a ceremony with the city to celebrate the end of a collaboration between the ... read more
Meeting with the Women of Cidade de Deus
Tour of Cidade de Deus
Tour of Cidade de Deus

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro November 27th 2023

After a wonderful month in Nicaragua, I have moved down to Brazil. I am here to meet with a non profit Instituto Dom, that works with women in the slums, or Favelas as they are called here of Rio de Janeiro. They have been providing business coaching, business skills, and financial literacy for several years. They have a desire to provide microloans, but have not been able to find an opportunity that was non predatory. I’m here to meet with them to see if I can be a solution to that problem. Favelas stated in Rio in the late 1800s after the Canudos War. The soldiers came to Rio and settled into makeshift accommodations to wait for a payment from the government for their service. The money was never received and they never left. In the ... read more
Greetings Brasil!
Presentation by the Psychologist
Presentation by the Psychologist

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana August 28th 2023

The Frugal Expat names ten of the most dangerous cities in the world. I have been to four of them: Rio, Cape Town, Acapulco, and our own St. Louis, Missouri. The remaining six are in the Middle East, or Venezuela and Honduras. Though it has been over ten years since I have been to these cities, I will tell you that I (we) had very good experiences in these cities. Rio was one of our first trips to South America. We stayed on Copacabana Beach, and strayed only on a bus tour, along with famous Ipanema Beach, the Hippie Faire, and Christ the Redeemer. I do not recall feeling unsafe anywhere, though our drivers took us through some sketchy areas and favelas. I would love to go back, perhaps to the famous Carnaval celebration. The food ... read more
Cape Town
Rio de Janeiro
St Louis

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Centro August 23rd 2023

Getting my ducks in a row. Testing the blog site. Filling the gas tank. Stitching Betsy, the backpack. ... and more ... let's see how this goes.... bon boyage!! and more ...... read more
pappa love

South America » Brazil » São Paulo » São Paulo July 27th 2023

(Day 392 on the road)Not to get robbed. Not on the last stretch of my yearlong journey across South America. That was one of the objectives for my final ~3 weeks in Brazil. I had been considering how to spend the final weeks. With Brazil being such a huge country, options were certainly plentiful. After some contemplating, I figured that spending two full weeks in Rio de Janeiro - one of the most exiting cities in this world – seemed very attractive. So I decided to take it slow, spend two weeks in Rio, a few days in the small coastal town of Paraty (halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo), and then my final few days in Sao Paulo. And it turned out to be just right. Before I arrived in Rio de Janeiro from Foz ... read more
Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Jeneiro
Sunset over Rio de Janeiro

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Iguaçu Falls July 7th 2023

(Day 372 on the road) Iguazu. Big Water. What a fitting name for this fantastical natural wonder. Like the Atacama Desert in Chile, I had visited Iguazu Falls over 20 years ago. I do have faint memories and thus kind of knew what to expect. Yet it still blew me away. The falls are located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and - like most visitors - I visited them on both sides of the border. They are both distinctively different, and I liked both sides a lot. I had entered Brazil on foot from Paraguay across the friendship bridge, and settled into a small private apartment in the town of Foz do Iguazu, about an hour drive north of the actual waterfalls. Leaving Spanish speaking countries behind after a year now felt strange, and ... read more
Iguazu Falls
South American coatis crossing the bridge
Parrot at Parque das Aves

Good Evening from Cambouri which is pronounced like “El Santo Camburee” or something strange like that. It’s not an island. It looks massive based on the tall thin towers dotting a very long shoreline however, the population is only 138,000. The population of people live behind the tall buildings. The buildings are hotels, restaurants, and banks. A crew member on the pirate boat told us that today and we jokingly didn’t believe him so he Googled it and showed us. He was wanting to practice his English so he spoke to us today. As a side note, all Costa staff are REQUIRED to speak English in order to work for Costa (odd, huh?) and all of the tours/excursion staff are required to speak at least three languages, but most speak four or five. For this boat, ... read more
View from our balcony
Me before the curls fell out two minutes later

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