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Great sources about Brazil in English

It is difficult to find quality, trustworthy information on Brazil, especially if you don’t read Portuguese. I hope this will help you in your path of discovery of all-things-Brazilian.

Culture

  • Capoeira – The Capoeirista has an amazing list of links of capoeira centers around the planet.You should also visit Agogô, the Dutch Magazine of Brazilian Culture.
  • Cooking – For Brazilian  recipes, look for CookBrazil and Maria-Brazil. Also try Sonia Portuguese, that offers bilingual recipes that help learning cooking vocabulary in Portuguese. In depth articles about several regional cuisines can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs´s website. Finally, check this and this posts, here on Deep Brazil.
  • FolkloreMaria-Brazil, mentioned before, also offers an overview of our folklore (music, festivals, crafts).
  • Language – The British newspaper The Guardian published a phrase book, tips of pronunciation and a short guide to Brazilian gestures. Besides, a few Brazilian teachers have great blogs that may help those who are studying Portuguese. Try, for instance, Portuguese Tips. You can also  check Eyes on Brazil, which has a series of cool “Tricky Verbs/Words in Portuguese” posts. Great for those puzzled by the peculiarities of our language.
  • MusicBrazilian Music is a good source of news on Bossa Nova, Música Popular Brasileira (MPB) and Brazilian Jazz. You should also check MuzicMuse, that covers mostly the period between 1930 and 1980. If you are looking for podcasts, check this post.
  • MiscellaneaThe Good Blood covers a variety of Brazilian themes, namely cultural trends. Plus, it looks great.

Economy and Politics

  • You probably should begin with the Financial Times, that put together recent articles about the country. LatinFocus offers statistics and a general analysis of Brazilian economy. This comment by KPMG is also useful, although you might need more updated sources. Try also the in depth analysis at Political Risk Latin America.
  • All the information produced by Bovespa – São Paulo Stock Exchange – is translated into English. Good news for the growing number of foreign investors.
  • BNDES, the Brazilian Development Bank, which finances most infra-structure projects, has a website that gives hints of the way the country is growing.
  • The Central Bank offers all sorts of economic indicators, articles about the market expectations, inflation reports and press releases.
  • Brazil Political and Business Comment, written by a Scotsman consultant that lives in São Paulo, offers great in-depth analysis.
  • The National Congress has a decent bilingual website, if you want to take a virtual tour or learn how it works.
  • Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs´s website for a series of booklets on several industries and commodities produced in the country. It also lists all Brazilian embassies, consulates and missions in the world.

Kids

  • Beloved Brazilian cartoon Turma da Mônica’s website that offers a few games in English and a “journey through the regions of Brazil”.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a printable booklet that might be useful for young students that are learning about the country.

News and Miscellaneous

  • If you want an extremely quick but reasonably decent overview of what’s going on in the country, check this Country Profile frequently updated by the BBC.
  • The Brazilian government created a pretty helpful website in case you want to learn about: federal projects, government structure, economy and investments, bills and coins currently in use, all sorts of basic info for tourists (visas, vaccines, extradition law, main attractions), assistance to the foreign press. Of course, it is an official source, with its dose of propaganda, but it is definitely useful.
  • The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’s Brazil Portal is a great news aggregator. Try also the Brazil Weekly.
  • IBGE, the federal bureau of statistics, is your best source to understand how social and economical issues are evolving.
  • Gringoes, a great source for foreigners moving to Brazil, offers tons of cool info: instructions on how to make phone calls; the contacts of foreign schools, associations and commerce chambers; safety tips; best places to live; and a good list of links.

Social and environmental issues

  • A few important organizations have websites in English (sometimes also in Spanish and French). Among others: Viva Rio (field work, research and lobby to promote a culture of peace and social development), Instituto Socioambiental (promotion of sustainability and Native Brazilians rights), Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica (the main NGO dealing with the protection of the Atlantic rainforest), Imazon (a key player in the promotion of sustainability in the Amazon region), Ibase (a think tank that researches democracy, inequality and social exclusion) and Instituto Pólis (dedicated to urban problems and citizen rights).
  • Check Some Things Around, that offers encyclopaedia-like topics about the human and biological diversity of the country. It also focus on navigation and the Brazilian coast.
  • O Mangue, a blog written by a bi-national couple of anthropologists, offers fantastic insights about Afro-Brazilians, their culture and the challenges they face.

Shopping

  • Amazon.com has an unbelievable stock of books, CDs, apparel and even food from Brazil. I was surprised to find there belt buckles with the national flag and adapters for electric devices. The link leads to an online shop I created that offers exclusively products related to the country.

Tourism

  • BrazilMax , “the Hip Guide to Brazil”, is a very complete road map for foreign tourists. Complement it with Brazil Biodiversity, that suggests the best ways to spend your day in several cities. You can also give a try to the official Brazilian Tourism Portal and to the independent Brazil Travel Blog.
  • A few newspapers published in English created specific web pages that offer great tips. They review hotels and restaurants, suggest great destinations and what you shouldn’t miss. Try The New York Times, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
  • You can also visit websites that offer specific information about several Brazilian states:
    • AmazonasInfo about the state that is in the heart of the Amazon. It also offers info in several other languages and – curiously – also in Portugal Portuguese.
    • Bahia – You will find some useful information about Carnival events here.
    • Pará – Check here the beauties of the state that is the gateway to the Amazon region.
    • Pernambuco –A Gringo in Olinda offers some good tips, in case you are traveling to Olinda and Recife, or other cities of the Northeast region. This area is also covered by the beautifully illustrated Recife Guide. Info about the famous Olinda’s Carnival can be obtained here (in Portuguese).
    • Rio – The Official Rio Guide tells you absolutely everything you need to know to enjoy the Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City). The Rio Times is a great source of local news and Rio Nightlife is essential for party people.
    • São Paulo – The state government’s website offers good tips on parks, popular festivals, beaches and so on

Way of Life (including expats trying to understand the country)

  • Not Quite a Gringo is an American from Puerto Rico living in Brazil, with a light, rich outlook of the country’s daily life.
  • Eyes on Brazil (mentioned earlier) and Eyes on Belém are written by a foreigner who is in love with the Brazilian way of life and, more specifically, with Belém, one of the main cities of the Amazon basin.
  • Flor da Maçanilha has great insights about life in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Maps and Legends was written by a British expatriate in Natal, in the Northeast (he is not updating it anymore, though). It is particularly interesting for those who want a Christian approach of the country.
  • A few websites offer good information on the national lesbian and gay scene. Try, for instance, the Rio Gay Guide.
  • Minas International wants to connect the fluent English speaking community (both foreigners and Brasilians) in Minas Gerais.

Finally, if you can read Portuguese, try the Latin American Information Center (University of  Texas in Austin) or Brazilink, that offer good lists of links to Brazilian organizations that are reference in their domains and all sorts of services. Unfortunately, most of the sources they suggest are only in Portuguese.

11 comments

  1. Have you seen this site?

    http://www.brazilpoliticalcomment.com.br/


    • Great tip, Jim! I already included the link in my list of great sources. Thanks.


  2. Thanks for your excellent blog!!

    few more informative English links on Rio:

    http://riotimesonline.com/

    http://rioforpartiers.com/

    http://rionights.wordpress.com/

    alex


  3. Wow! I was going to comment anyway, to say Olá and cause I loved the link list, then I saw you linked to my little blog too!!! Thank You:)
    Grande Abraço
    Julie


    • Julie, I included you because your blog is pretty sweet and also because Rio Grande do Sul must be present in Deep Brazil. By the way, I hope to post soon about the gaucho culture.
      Your outputs will be welcome here! Regina


  4. Hey Regina – thought it easiest to answer your comment with a a comment!
    Perhaps you know these sources already, but Danielle (daniellebrazil.blogspot.com) is a great resource on teaching, visa’s and living in Sao Paulo state, while Stephanie (livignlifeontheroadlesstraveled.blogspot.com) has some really interesting stories about living in a city in the interior of Minas Gerais…there’s also an American girl (mylifeinhavaianas.blogspot.com) and two teachers (stephandcary.blogspot.com) who moved to Porto Alegre to work a a while ago
    Hm…a really good page for anyone wanting to get to knoww Gaúcho culture (but it’s in Portuguese…) is paginadogaucho.com.br, including a dictionary of Gaúcho slang…
    That’s all for the moment, I’ll let you know if I think of more!
    Take Care
    Julie


    • Thanks, Julie. I will definitely check all these guys.


  5. This is a VERY helpful post. I will digest each one as my time gets closer to move to Recife! Thanks!



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