Brazil : Geography Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world; in terms of population (186 million in 2005) as well as land area. It is the economic leader of South America, with the ninth largest economy in the world, and a large iron and aluminum ore reserve. From the Amazon basin in the north and west to the Brazilian Highlands in the southeast, Brazil's topography is quite diverse. The Amazon River system carries more water to the ocean than any other river system in the world. It is navigable for its entire 2000 mile trip within Brazil. The basin is home to the most rapidly depleting rain forest in the world, losing about 52,000 square miles annually.
Brazil: Geography The basin, occupying more than sixty percent of the entire country, receives more than eighty inches (about 200 cm) of rain a year in some areas. Almost all of Brazil is humid as well as either has a tropical or subtropical climate. Brazil's rainy season occurs during the summer months. Eastern Brazil suffers from regular drought. There is little seismic or volcanic activity due to Brazil's position near the center of the South American Plate. The Brazilian Highlands and plateaus generally average less than 4000 feet (1220 meters) but the highest point in Brazil is Pico de Neblina at 9888 feet (3014 meters). Extensive uplands lie in the southeast and drop off quickly at the Atlantic Coast. Much of the coast is composed of the Great Escarpment which looks like a wall from the ocean.
Brazil: People People of Brazil : Brazil's population is made up of a mixture of Native American, European, and African people, which gives rise to an ethnic society in Brazil. The Portuguese had arrived in 1500, while other European groups came after 1850 and the ancestors of African Brazilians arrived as slaves, in the beginning of mid-1500s. This is how Brazil got its unique ethnic background. The Native American population, however, who has been in Brazil for a very long time, is today present in a very small group.
Brazil: People According to the Constitution of Brazil, a Brazilian citizen is: Anyone born in Brazil, even if to foreign parents. However, if the foreign parents were at the service of a foreign State (like foreign diplomats), the child is not Brazilian; Anyone born abroad to a Brazilian parent, with registration of birth in a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate. Also, a person born abroad to a Brazilian parent who was not registered but who, after turning 18 years old, went to live in Brazil; A foreigner living in Brazil who applied for and was accepted as a Brazilian citizen (naturalized Brazilian). According to the Constitution, all people who hold Brazilian citizenship are equal, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion A foreigner can apply for Brazilian citizenship after living for 15 uninterrupted years in Brazil and being able to speak Portuguese. A native person from an official Portuguese language country (Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea Bissauand East Timor) can request the Brazilian nationalityafter only 1 uninterrupted year living in Brazil. A foreign born person who holds Brazilian citizenship has exactly the same rights and duties of the Brazilian citizen by birth, but cannot occupy some special public positions such as the Presidency of the Republic, Vice-presidency of the Republic, Minister (Secretary) of Defense, Presidency (Speaker) of the Senate, Presidency (Speaker) of the House of Representatives, Officer of the Armed Forces and Diplomat
Brazil: Culture Brazilianculture is a culture of a very diverse nature. An ethnic and cultural mixing occurred in the colonial period between Native Americans, Portuguese and Africans formed the bulk of Brazilian culture. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Italian, German, Spanish, Araband Japanese immigrants settled in Brazil and played an important role in its culture, creating a multicultural and multiethnic society
Brazil: Culture The core culture of Brazil derived from Portuguese culture, because of strong colonial ties with the Portuguese empire. Among other inheritances, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, the Catholic religion and the colonial architectural styles. This culture, however, was strongly influenced by African, Indigenous cultures and traditions, and other non-Portuguese European people. Some aspects of Brazilian culture are contributions of Italian, German and other European immigrants; came in large numbers and their influences are felt closer to the South and Southeast of Brazil. Amerindian peoples influenced Brazil's language and cuisine; and the Africans influenced language, cuisine, music, dance and religion
Brazil: History The Portuguese were the first European settlers to arrive in the area, led by adventurous Pedro Cabral, who began the colonial period in 1500. The Portuguese reportedly found native Indians numbering around seven million. Most tribes were peripatetic, with only limited agriculture and temporary dwellings, although villages often had as many as 5000 inhabitants. Cultural life appears to have been richly developed, although both tribal warfare and cannibalism were ubiquitous. The few remaining traces of Brazil's Indian tribes reveal little of their lifestyle, unlike the evidence from other Andean tribes. Today, fewer than 200,000 of Brazil's indigenous people survive, most of whom inhabit the jungle areas. Other Portuguese explorers followed Cabral, in search of valuable goods for European trade but also for unsettled land and the opportunity to escape poverty in Portugal itself.
Brazil: History In October 2010's second round of presidential elections, DilmaRousseff, an acolyte of Lula and his former chief of staff, defeated José Serra 56% to 44% to become the country's first woman president. Because of term limits, Lula could not run for a third consecutive term. Rousseff is expected to follow through with Lula's agenda, but faces the task of improving the country's education, health, and sanitation systems. The vote was seen as an endorsement of Lula and his social and economic policies.