Brazil is Latin America’s largest country and the second greatest economy of the Americas, lagging only behind the United States. Their increasing GDP is sustained chiefly by the service and industrial markets. Though over a third of Brazil’s terrain is agricultural land, less than six percent of the Brazilian GDP can be attributed to farming. This is not to undermine the efforts of Brazilian agriculture; Brazil headed global sugarcane production well into the current century and continues to be the world’s largest bean producer. Obstacles to the expansion of Brazilian agriculture include efforts to preserve the Amazon, prolonged drought, and lack of financing.
Brazilian culture, being a fusion of African, Portuguese and native cultures, is unique and varies greatly throughout the country. The musical and culinary preferences of each region mirror the people that settled the area. In northeastern Brazil, where most Africans settled, travellers will find that local music imparts the rhythms of the Yoruba people, an ethnic group from Nigeria and surrounding African nations. In southern Brazil where most are Caucasian, and in the capital, Rio de Janeiro, celebratory music like samba reflects the colonizing country of Portugal. Visitors will find that architecture and art varies with region as well, but the unifying element of Brazilian culture is love of country and language—99 percent of citizens speak Portuguese.
- Brazil is a very large country, at over eight million square kilometers, which makes it Latin America’s largest country and the fifth largest in the world. Brazil also happens to have the fifth largest population in the world.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil houses one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer. This 125-foot tall concrete statue of Christ with his arms outstretched was constructed between the years of 1922 to 1931.
- Brazil produces one-third of the world’s coffee. It has been the world’s foremost producer of coffee for 150 years, peaking in the 1920s when it produced 80 percent of the coffee in the world.
- Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada, a famous erudite Brazilian poet, wrote a poem that was then used in the Brazilian National Anthem. The anthem is complex and difficult to understand, as it is composed of some rarely-ised words and complex sintatic constructions.
- The Brazilian government gives inmates the option of reducing their prison sentence by four days for each book they read and write a report on. Prisoners also have the option of riding stationary bikes to generate electricity for adjacent towns to reduce prison time.
- Indoor tanning is prohibited in Brazil.
- Brazil is home to the most Japanese people in the world outside of Japan.
- In Brazil, there are breast milk banks to provide breast milk for babies who do not have access to it.
- A Brazilian island called Ilha Da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, has so many venomous snakes that the government has banned humans from entering it. Only researching scientists and military personnel are permitted travel to the island.
- Brazil has expansive import tax laws. Sony’s PS4 gaming system costs almost $2,000 in Brazil, while it costs only $400 in North America.