For millions of Brazilians living in poverty, the long bus ride on the way to work or downtime before bed could get a bit more interesting, and cultural.
“I’m afraid that something will happen to me…that they’ll kidnap me, I don’t know.” These are the fearful words of Ramona Rodríguez, the 51-year old Cuban primary care physician stationed in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pará. She has since left her position last week to seek asylum in the United States embassy in Brasilia and has sought refuge in Brazil in an attempt to establish her residency there while Washington looks over her request.
In Rio de Janeiro, a growing crime rate still plagues much of the city and the sound of gunshots and back-alley drug deals are not uncommon occurrences. The torture and murder of a bricklayer from the neighborhood of Rocinha has sparked protests against the corrupt police forces responsible. Despite these ongoing issues, tourists are finding themselves seeking lodging within these neighborhoods. Hotels in Rio are in very short supply and even the most basic hotels have increased their prices to $450 per night during the World Cup1.
The World Cup and new technology has gone hand in hand ever since the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The 1970 World Cup was the first to be broadcast in color. The Mexican games were the start of a relationship between new technology in television and the World Cup. More recently, the 2006 games in Germany were the first to be broadcast in HDTV and the South African games were available via Internet streaming, while some games were even available in 3D television.
As Brazil continues to grow and develop at an exponential rate, their famed favelas will soon be on the map thanks to Microsoft and Bing.
In Brazil, child prostitution is a polemic topic, especially in light of the upcoming World Cup.* Pressured into this position by physical abuse, economic need, or simply because it is their best option for survival, these children sell themselves to sexual exploitation for only a few dollars. Long viewed for its sexually liberal reputation, Brazil has been a popular a destination for sexual tourism.
I think almost everyone who studies abroad imagines themselves going back someday. Some people dream of it, some people make a firm promise that they'll make it happen. There are the examples of people who did it--the girl who married her foreign boyfriend, or the woman who moved to Brazil to become a yoga instructor--but in reality, we all know the chances are slim we will get another opportunity to live abroad for an extended period of time.
Lembro de ouvir quando criança as histórias que minha mãe contava misturando coisas que ela viveu e coisas que ouviu. Minha mãe cresceu ouvindo histórias dos irmãos e conhecidos sobre os pais, pois sua mãe morreu quando ela tinha 3 anos e o pai aos 4. Os pais que ela conhece e que nos mostrou em suas histórias foram os pais construídos a partir de fragmentos da memória de outros, e que ela rearranjou em sua mente.
In the largest city in South America, more than 8,000 families are living in temporary tents consisting of plastic sheets and timber.