Since its colonization by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Brazil has held a constant fascination for foreigners. First it was gold, then rubber and coffee and more recently, the exotic sights of sounds of the nation, they like the foreigners, have always been slightly dazed by the size of their country. The sensation is that hidden under a rug in some far corner may be an immense treasure just waiting to be discovered. The problem is knowing which corner and which rug.
Since the 16th century, Brazilians and foreigners alike have been looking for and, in the process, gradually occupying the enormous empty spaces of this continent sized country. They have populated them with some 150 millions souls, composing one of the world’s most heterogeneous populations. Brazilians are black, brown, white, yellow and all the shades in between. They live amidst modern splendor in sprawling cities and in squalid deprivation in rural backwaters. Within the confines of the same Brazil live Indians in near stone-age conditions, feudal peasants and lords, pioneers hacking out jungle settlements and yuppie princess and princesses.
Among the most visited beaches in the country, we have the famous Beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, along the Rio de Janeiro coast, Joaquina, in the south of the country, famous for holding national and international surf championships; Praia do Forte, along the north coast
Of Bahia, headquarters for the Tamar Project for the preservation of Sea turtles; and the wonderful beaches in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago.
And all of this is constantly in motion. Perhaps nowhere on earth is the process of development as tangible as in Brazil. The dynamism of the country is its greatest achievement. Even in the midst of a period of stagnation, Brazilians have continued to get on with the process of nation building. The once-impregnable Amazon rainforest is being opened up quickly – many say to quickly – and is the last great frontier of a nation that is still not entirely explored.
Brazilians are remarkably happy people. Spontaneous, enthusiastic and high spirited, they tend typically to be creatures of the moment. Nothing is as real or as important as what they are doing at this precise second. Cautious, long-range planning types go mad when faced with Brazilian “charge the ramparts” style of living. For Brazilians however, nothing could be more natural. In the land of carnival, seize the moment. After all, at any moment, you may just turn up the right rug.