Celebrating the Fourth of July in Brazil

Traveling overseas for the last nine months, I have been able to experience what it’s like to experience holidays that I typically observe in the United States while in a foreign country.  I was in Rotorua, New Zealand for Thanksgiving, but I was able to eat lots of similar food at a Maori hangi feast.  I was in Bangkok, Thailand on Christmas Day, a Christmas quite different … Continue reading Celebrating the Fourth of July in Brazil

Visiting the Fascinating Yayoi Kusama Exhibition in São Paulo

If you happen to be visiting São Paulo for the World Cup and are looking for something interesting to do when you’re not cheering on your favorite team, pay a visit to the Instituto Tomie Ohtake to see the dazzling exhibit assembling works from the career of provocative Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama.  The exhibit is currently traveling around Latin America and will be in São Paulo … Continue reading Visiting the Fascinating Yayoi Kusama Exhibition in São Paulo

Encountering Brazil’s Cânion Itaimbezinho

While I was spending a few days in the Serra Gaucha town of Gramado, I knew that I wanted to visit the Cânion Itaimbezinho located within the Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra.  The national park is situated on the border of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, close to the town of Cambara do Sul, which is some distance from Gramado.  “Itaimbezinho” means … Continue reading Encountering Brazil’s Cânion Itaimbezinho

São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park: Leisure and Culture in One of the World’s Finest Urban Parks

Ibirapuera Park should be the top of most must-see lists for visitors to São Paulo.  Ibirapuera actually means “rotten tree” in the indigenous Tupi language, but, in spite of this unfortunate name, the park teems with arboreal life.  At times, especially on Sunday afternoons, people actually outnumber the trees in this urban park.  As evidence of this, Ibirapuera Park was found to be one of … Continue reading São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park: Leisure and Culture in One of the World’s Finest Urban Parks

Itaipu Dam: Getting Beyond the Official Story

On my third day in Foz de Iguaçu, I took a short trip to the Itaipu Dam, a massive hydroelectric power plant situated on the Paraná River, which forms the border of Brazil and Paraguay. Opened in 1984, the dam was a binational project between Brazil and Paraguay to supply renewable energy to both countries.  Currently, the dam generates 14,000 megawatts of energy annually, making … Continue reading Itaipu Dam: Getting Beyond the Official Story

Curitiba: One of Brazil’s Most Impressive Cities

After spending a week in Florianópolis, I boarded a Caterinense bus and headed north through the verdant, mountainous landscapes and Germanic towns of Santa Catarina and into the state of Parana.  My destination: the city of Curitiba. Most gringoes have probably never heard of Curitiba, a major city in southern Brazil, the capital city of the state of Paraná and home to nearly 1.8 million … Continue reading Curitiba: One of Brazil’s Most Impressive Cities

Carnaval in Florianopolis

For foreigners, Carnaval in Brazil typically conjures up images of Rio de Janeiro’s colorful and famous Carnaval celebrations with its all night parades, blocos, beaches costumes and samba music.  However, Florianopolis, a less populated Brazilian city located on a verdant, mountainous island in the south of Brazil, also offers a chance to party like crazy during Carnaval and enjoy interludes of serene (or not so … Continue reading Carnaval in Florianopolis