Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Friday, October 26, 2012


Brazil has around 40 species of eagle, hawk, falcon, kite, caracara and kestrel, some quite common, and they’re not very easy to tell apart.

The crested caracara is common in many areas – it’s 50cm to 60cm long with a 1.2m or 1.3m wingspan. Its broad diet includes fish dying from a lack of oxygen as Pantanal ponds dry up, and animals that have been run over on roads or burnt in forest fires. Also common in Amazonia and the Pantanal are the yellow-headed caracara, about 40cm long, and the black-collared hawk, a reddish-brown fish-catcher, with a white head and chest, that reaches lengths of 45cm. The osprey, or fishing eagle, is bigger (55cm to 60cm; wingspan 1.45m to 1.7m), with a darker brown body.

Brazil’s most emblematic bird of prey (and the largest in the Americas) is the ferocious, rare and enormously powerful harpy eagle, weighing up to 10kg, with a wingspan of up to 2.5m, and claws bigger than human hands. It enjoys a diet of monkeys, sloths, armadillos and other large animals, and nests at least 25m above the ground in big jungle trees. Though a few harpies still inhabit Mata Atlântica, the bird is found chiefly in Amazonia. It’s not yet endangered but will become so if destruction of its rain-forest habitat continues.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


"It is a contagiously funky, and kooky, Brazilian rock number about a modern love affair between two independent adults, something of an antidote to the over-sweetened stardust of so much modern pop." (by Vincent Bevins - Folha de São Paulo)

Tulipa´s official website

Friday, October 19, 2012


Oktoberfest in Brazil is a great introduction to the country's German heritage. Inspired in the Oktoberfest in Munich, the Oktoberfest in Blumenau, Santa Catarina, is now one of the world's largest outside Germany.
Because Oktoberfest in Brazil is held in the spring, one of the best things about it is the fact that you can time the top festivals with more southern Brazil attractions - in warm weather. A bit of traveling will take you from oom-pa to the beach, to Iguassu Falls or to some of Brazil's most beautiful mountain destinations, such as São Joaquim National Park in Urubici , SC.

Draft beer by the meter drinking contest
The festival of Blumenau was created in 1984, after a big flooding of the Itajaí-Açu river, as a means of recovering the city's economy and raising the morale of its inhabitants. Since its first edition it has been a success, and today it has an attendance of about 700,000 visitors over a fortnight and a consumption of 626,000 liters of draft beer. It features parades, parties, national and international bands playing traditional and pop German music in the Biergarten and in the street, as well as typical food and locally brewed and imported beer. Also, there are folk dances (Tanzgruppen), shooting matches (Schützenvereine), Germanic singing, folk costume and german cuisine. "Fritz" and "Frida" are the typical German characters. The "Vovó e Vovô Chopão" (Grandma and Grandpa Chopão, "Big Beer") are the oficial symbolic characters of the event.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Southern Right Whales are one of the most endangered whale species in the world. From July to November they come to shallow coastal waters in lower latitudes to breed, calve and nurse their young. There are just two places in South America where this gathering can be seen –Argentina and southern Brazil. Brazil’s first dedicated whale sanctuary at Praia da Rosa was declared along 81 miles of the Santa Catarina coast in 2000 to protect the whales. A favourite spot for the whales to gather is in the bay off Praia da Rosa and it is here whale watching boat trips, accompanied by a biologist from the Right Whale Institute, can be arranged.

where to stay

Praia do Rosa is a member of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World Club, a non-governmental network which aims to contribute to the preservation of unique bays.

Praia do Rosa is located within the range of the Southern Right Whale Environment Protection Area (APA Baleia Franca), created in 2000 and Praia do Rosa is part of a string of beaches on the southern coast of Santa Catarina with great conditions for surfing - Imbituba is on the ASP World Tour.
Ecotourism is on the rise in Praia do Forte. Hiking is big in the hills around the beach, especially on a trail known as Caminho do Rei, or the King's Way, named after the visit of a Brazilian king to the trail. Horseback riding on the beach and bird watching are some other fun possibilities.
Praia do Rosa nightlife is fun, especially in the summer. Beautiful people crowd Pico da Tribo, one of the best places around for dancing. by ICMBio (ICMBIO), the Brazilian Ministry of Environment's Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity).  
Official Website
Family Wildlife Adventures

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Joaquim Barbosa, the justice overseeing the corruption trial

"In what has been billed as Brazil's "trial of the century", the supreme court on Thursday started to hear the case of 38 prominent defendants – including former ministers, politicians, bankers and businessmen – who are implicated in a vote-buying case that first hit the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2005.
The Mensalão (big monthly payment) scandal, as it is commonly known, saw millions of dollars siphoned from public funds to pay off politicians and buy support for the coalition. Among the accused is Jose Dirceu, Lula's chief of staff." (The Guardian).
“This trial shows that Brazil’s institutions are functioning with vigor,” said Thiago Bottino, a law professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, an elite Brazilian university. “The justices could have easily washed their hands of this case and walked away; instead, they entered the fight for an ethical democracy.” (The New York Times)
The attorney general, Roberto Gurgel, has said it was "the most daring and outrageous corruption scheme and embezzlement of public funds ever seen in Brazil".
 "For weeks now, Brazilians have been riveted by the televised spectacle at the nation’s high court, in which justices are sparring over what is arguably Brazil’s largest corruption scandal. When the dust settles and sentences are announced, prominent politicians and bankers may actually go to jail.
The fact the trial is even advancing to such a phase — taking aim at congressmen, members of the governing party and senior officials who worked directly under one of the most popular presidents — points to a rare breakthrough in political accountability and a crucial streak of independence in the legal system.
So far, the court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, or Supreme Court, has already found more than 20 of the 38 defendants in the case guilty of crimes including money laundering, misuse of public funds and accepting cash for votes." (The New York Times).
There´s more to unfold...
See complete articles at The New York Times and The Guardian

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Penedo is a municipality in the state of Alagoas in Brazil.

 Founded in 1614, Penedo lies 173 km from the state capital, Maceió. Penedo has many important examples of Portuguese and Dutch colonial architectures, as well as beautiful landscapes. Among its historically significant buildings are its well preserved churches, which were built through the 18th century. Some of these include:
  • Convento de São Francisco e Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Anjos
    (Convent of Saint Francis and Church of Our Lady of the Angels)
  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Corrente
    Church of Our Lady of the Chains - it was named after the "chains" of slavery. The owners, a family of abolitionists, would hide running slaves in a secret compartment until they could escape. This church is lavishly decorated with rare polychrome tiles and gold leaf.)
  • Catedral de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Penedo.
    (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Black People's Rosary)
The Casa do Penedo, established in 1992, has as its objective the preservation of the city's artistic and cultural patrimony. In the Casa do Penedo one can find a rich quantity of five centuries of creativity by residents of the São Francisco River Valley.
If you can, stay more than one day to take advantage of the river tours; the boat will take you all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Wear comfortable walking shoes; Penedo was named after the rock it was built on and it's very hilly. The river is very wide near its mouth, but before it gets here it has formed one of the longest canyons in the world. Affectionately called "Velho Chico" (Old Chico), the river is 2,700 kilometers long, flowing through five states: Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Sergipe, and Alagoas, the sertão of so many books, stories, legends, and songs... In Bahia it has a flood plain like the Nile; planting manioc crops and pottery-making (with the clay obtained by digging holes for the plants) are all done according to the cycles of flood and receding waters.
The river is navigable for a 1,700-kilometer stretch and you can actually do this on a "hotel boat."  The "Velho Chico" is also famous for the "carrancas" or figureheads on its boats. The real ones are becoming more and more difficult to find and were the subject of an exhibit in Rio in 2002; you can pick up a reproduction in Penedo to help ward off evil spirits around your home...
Sources: Maria-Brazil

Sunday, October 7, 2012


By VINCENT BEVINS - he writes for and edits “From Brazil”, an experimental English-language blog aimed at highlighting news, analysis, culture and commentary for the global community for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper.

Brazilians go to the polls today to elect their municipal representatives. These posts are quite important, as mayors have a great deal of power here. For those of us that live in Brazil, these campaigns can often drag on forever, but have turned out to be quite interesting this year. For those living abroad, here’s a quick guide to what’s at stake and who’s in the running in Rio and São Paulo.
Sunday is the first round of voting. In cases where there is no majority, the top two candidates go to a second round of voting a month later.
São Paulo – the rise of Evangelical Christian politics
The mayorship of South America’s largest city is extremely important, likened credibly to running a mid-sized country. And as anyone who has visited SP knows, this place is in dire need of good leadership.
We’ve had a big surprise here. The country’s two major parties, the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, or Worker’s Party, of Dilma and Lula fame), and the PSDB (the center-right party of the also much-revered Fernando Henrique Cardoso), have been shocked to find themselves trailing far behind Celso Russomano, the TV personality and candidate from the relatively new PRD, a party backed by  Brazil’s increasingly powerful evangelical Christian churches.
This has terrified the traditional power structures and you have seen everyone coming together (other than the actual supporters of the man) to try to stop him. This includes the right-wing media, left-wing unions and parties as well as bien pensant middle-class liberal urban types. Most of Russomano’s supporters are the conservative poor, and some call his campaign a genuinely populist movement representing those who have long been neglected, and others call it the dangerous mixing of religion and politics.
But he is almost certainly going to the second round, so the question now is who is going with him. On the right we have José Serra, who was already mayor of São Paulo, but quit to run for president, against Dilma, and lost badly. That has not helped his image with the common man, and pollsters routinely find a large number of voters reject him.
Nevertheless, he’s ahead of Fernando Haddad, a relative newcomer for the PT, who has been pulling out all the stops (these stops are named Lula and Dilma) to get into the second round and give the city a left-of-center option. It could be close.
Rio – Riding a wave of success vs. the gadfly critic
Incumbent Eduardo Paes (from catch-all centrist party PMDB) is overseeing a city which is booming, regaining much of its importance for the country, and which will host the Olympics in 2016. He should win easily and probably will. But the one person who may stop him from getting 50% of the vote today is Marcelo Freixo, the human rights advocate who famously inspired a character in blockbuster movie Tropa de Elite 2 (If you haven’t seen these two movies, but you are somehow reading this blog, you must).
Freixo is an extremely exciting figure for Rio’s middle-class lefties as well as many people in the favelas. This is an impressive spread, to say the least, and he’s a powerful critic of the way Rio is developing.
Source: Blogfolha

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


President of Brazil Dilma Vana Rousseff. AFP

Published on September 26, 2012
The popularity of Brazil's first woman president continues to rise and public trust in her administration far exceeds that of her two male predecessors, despite a slowing economy, a CNI/Ibope poll showed on Wednesday.

The approval rating of President Dilma Rousseff's government rose to 62 percent, 3 percentage points higher than in the previous CNI/Ibope poll three months ago.
Rousseff has been battling to jump-start a sluggish economy with a flurry of stimulus measures that include tax breaks on manufacturers and consumers, and recently took steps to lower some of the world's highest energy costs.
The world's No. 6 economy is expected to grow just 1.5 percent this year, a far cry from the red-hot 7.5 percent expansion seen two years ago.
An ongoing corruption scandal involving Rousseff's ruling Workers Party over vote buying a decade ago and a bruising four-month strike by public sector employees have not dented her popularity after nearly two years in office, the poll showed.
Her personal approval rating as president remains at 77 percent, the same as in March and June of this year.
Trust in Rousseff's stewardship of Latin America's largest nation is riding at between 72 percent and 73 percent, compared 53 percent for former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and 54 percent for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the widely popular union leader turned president who chose her to succeed him.
The left-leaning Rousseff harshly criticized the economic policies of rich nations at the United Nations on Tuesday, saying they were failing to end the global crisis and harming emerging markets such as hers.
The quarterly poll of 2,000 people by Ibope and CNI, the country's largest industry lobby, was conducted between Sept. 17 and 21 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage point.

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