By Jose Santiago
July 11, 2012

Despite the fact that the Rules and Regulations of the Brazilian Central Bank never prohibited the opening of a regular checking account in Brazil by a non-resident, almost all banks never allowed such a thing. They have always required a copy of the Brazilian resident card, known as RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro).

This is a common misconception, as everybody thinks it is prohibited by law. However, the Brazilian Central Bank, which is the governmental agency that oversees all banks in Brazil always allowed banks to establish their own requirements in it comes to opening of a bank account.

On the other hand, banks had always been extremely bureaucratic and extra careful in opening accounts. Some banks, even today, require authenticated copies of ID, CPF, proof of residency and even income tax returns which are confidential and protected by law.

Nonetheless, nowadays we are seeing a change of heart. A few agencies in São Paulo are allowing non-resident foreigners to open bank accounts. The only requirement is a local address (to receive correspondence) and simple copies of a passport and a CPF number.

Now, almost everyone can have a regular checking account in Brazilian Reais, even those living illegally in the country can now open their own bank accounts and enjoy the benefits of having a check book, an ATM card, credit card, online access and etc.

Jose C. Santiago
Attorney at Law
Brazil: New Changes to the Investment Visas
Brazil: The 2010 Income Tax Return Rule Changes
Brazil: Advantages and Disadvantages of Importing a Vehicle to Brazil
Changes to Investment Visa Law
How Foreign Individuals Can Invest in the Brazilian Stock Market
Non-Resident Bank Accounts for Foreigners in Brazil
Brazil: General Guidelines for Foreigners who Intend to Open a Brazilian Corporation
Brazil: Myths and Facts Regarding the Investment Visa Program
Brazil: The Importance of a Title Search When Buying Real Estate
Brazil: Restrictions for Foreigners When Buying Rural Properties
Brazil: Having a Child Abroad for US Citizens
Careful When Buying Pre-Construction Properties in Brazil!
Understanding Brazil: Sending Money Home from a Real Estate Deal
The Closing Process in Brazil
Permanent Visas in Brazil
Brazil: International Money Transfers
Brazil: Squatters Rights (Usucapião) – Be Aware!
Brazil: Annual Procedures to Keep Your CPF Number Valid
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 3
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 2
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 1
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 4
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 3
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 2
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 1
8 Reasons to Invest in Brazil’s Real Estate
The Brazilian Resident Investor Program for Foreigners
Brazil: Annual Required Procedures to Keep Your CPF Number
Legal Aspects of Acquiring Real Estate in Brazil

By Lance Bellville
June 20, 2012

The Rio+20 Earth Summit Conference on world sustainable development burst into bloom in Rio Wednesday, 20 June, complete with Presidents, Prime Ministers, bankers and big shots, academics and activists from 132 countries dropping into town to tackle a few of the knottier environmental problems nobody has solved including poverty, hunger, global environmental degradation and energy shortages.

Officially it is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” as approved by consensus among the 193 countries that now comprise the United Nations. Judging by events here in Rio this week, the consensus ended at the portals of the United Nations off 44th Street and First Avenue in New York City.

The two central themes were to be the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication – accompanied by an institutional framework to support world efforts on them. But hopes for dramatic outcomes dimmed when President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany – all three of the G-20 Leaders Summit in Los Mexico – stayed away.

The Outcome Document being just that, a piece of paper from the United Nations, requests agreement but no formal ratification from the governments involved.

An estimated 50,000 visitors descended on Rio trying to affect in ways -globally to locally – the seriously dire direction world economic development and population growth have taken the environment in which all fauna and flora – humanity included – is expected to live, breath and prosper. Women have paraded bare-chested for more female participation in the counsels of power and Brazilian Indians have stopped traffic and then marched to the doorsteps of the National Development Bank to protest the building of a huge dam project at Belo Monte near Altamra on the Rio Xingu.

The mayors of 50 cities from around the world have been meeting, led by Michael Bloomberg, New York’s dapper-but-diminutive mayor. They argue that the hope of sustainability is actually in the hands of cities, setting a goal of cutting a billion tons of greenhouse gases by 2030.

The heavy lifting negotiation started taking place behind closed doors last week. But those doors are far from airtight and the news leaking out preparatory to the final Outcome Document that turned out to be long on talk and short on calls to specific action.

The public pronouncements of the representatives meeting here were full of environmental concerns. According to conference insiders the real issues were largely political. With many of the major players including the United States, England and most of Europe in various degrees of economic crisis the interests, as well as the presence of important world leaders, were elsewhere.

The final document is entitled, “The Future We Want.” It speaks eloquently of that goal “Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” And noting, “We recognize that the twenty years since the [Rio] Earth Summit in 1992 have seen uneven progress, including in sustainable development and poverty eradication.”

With an estimated 1.4 billion people in the world living in poverty, the major thrust of document language centers on economic development, usually with the addition of “sustainable.”

The Outcome Document mentions measures toward achieving a green economy.

While many environmentalists and others involved in the talks around the negotiating tables or virtually within earshot outside wanted to see more concrete suggestions to attack global climate change, the crisis of warming oceans, the world’s disappearing forests and other specifically environmental concerns, there was little to cheer them in the final document.

According to conference insiders, the gaping economic inequities between have and have not nations are a barrier too wide to cross at this time. Environmentalists seem to harbor hope that this document can be a building block toward a climate agreement and forest and ocean protections later on. Said one insider, “You cannot square the circle on how to reach more equitable distribution of wealth among the community of nations.”

In a way, Rio was the perfect setting for a conference wrestling with the world’s knowledge that we cannot continue consumption on the scale it is now happening. Every second fourteen thousand liters of raw sewage gush into beautiful Guanabara Bay. Eighty years ago 500 dolphins lived in the bay. Today hardly 40 swim there. And of the 40 beaches in and around beach-famous Rio, thirty-seven have either filthy or downright dangerous water.

For all its sound and fury, the UN’s talk of the “future we want,” appears to be well into the future.

Previous articles by Lance:

San Francisco Film Festival Features Six Brazilian films – Part 2
San Francisco Film Festival Features Six Brazilian films – Part 1
From the Birds to Fair Trade Certified Producers’ Brew, Brazil’s Best Coffee Gains Acclaim
They’ve Got An Awful Lot of Coffee In Brazil – And It’s Going Fair Trade!
Brazil: Then And Now Rondonia
Brazil: Nova Jerusalem’s Passion Play
Brazil: Up a Piece of Mountain to See a Batch of Theatre
Brazil: Mossoró’s Biggest Play on Earth Heads for Guinness Book of World Records
Brazil: House of Sand Impresses at San Francisco International Film Festival
Brazil: Lower City Helps Kick Off San Francisco International Film Festival
Brazil’s Kayapó Tribe
San Francisco International Film Festival: ALMOST BROTHERS Adds More Fans To Its List of International Devotees
San Francisco International Film Festival: Nelson Friere Documentary Enchants Audiences
San Francisco International Film Festival: Three Brazilian Films

By John Fitzpatrick

Expatriate Scots and descendants of Scottish immigrants across the world are being invited to take part in a project to create a Diaspora Tapestry to be unveiled during the 2014 Year of Homecoming.

Brazil is one of the 25 countries that have been identified and the organizers in Scotland are trying to find representatives and volunteers here who can contribute to the Tapestry by documenting the contribution Scots have made to Brazil.

Each community will be invited to produce between five and ten panels, each measuring 50cm x 50cm.

Obvious candidates for portrayal are Thomas Cochrane, the admiral who helped Brazil gain its independence from Portugal, Charles Miller, who brought football to Brazil and whose father was from Glasgow, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazil’s greatest 20th century poet who often referred to his Scottish ancestors.

The outline of the Tapestry is being designed by Andrew Crummy, the artist behind the recently launched Great Tapestry of Scotland and Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, an extraordinary 104-meter artwork which was embroidered by 200 volunteers from around Scotland.

It shows the early part of the Jacobite campaign of 1745 and was inspired by the Norman Bayeux Tapestry.

Since its completion in 2010 it has attracted thousands of visitors as it tours the country.
Its enormous success is due to the passion of the volunteers who created it, the astonishing quality of the artwork and embroidery, and fascinating history it depicts.
The 2014 Year of Homecoming provides the perfect arena for the assembly of the tapestry, with representatives from each community accompanying their panels to Scotland for an extensive program of events and celebrations.

Yvonne Murphy Tapestry Coordinator said: We want the diaspora community to tell us what the Scots did when they got to Brazil. Who were the first Scots? Important characters such as Thomas Donahue, Charlie Miller and Dr Robert Reid Kalley are already on our list but are there other stories that should be included? Andrew Crummy will translate the information and images relating to the diaspora stories into design.

“We are also looking for people in Brazil to stitch the panels. Each panel is 50 x 50cm and we provide the traced linen, wool, reference drawing and guidelines. The stitchers need not be experts or even of Scottish descent but should have an enthusiasm for taking part in this global community project.”

The Tapestry is scheduled for completion in early 2014 and all the panels of the tapestry will be brought together in Scotland as part of Homecoming 2014 celebrations.

It will become part of a range of events throughout the year across Scotland, as well as being the focus for celebrations in its own right. After 2014, there will be an opportunity for the tapestry to travel to the diaspora communities.

If you want to become involved or obtain further information, please contact Yvonne Murphy at yvonnemurphy@scottishdiasporatapestry.org, visit www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org or find them on Facebook.

Previous articles by John Fitzpatrick on www.gringoes.com:

Christmas Boom for Brazil’s Beggars
Iranian Leader’s Visit Takes the Gloss off Lula’s International Image
Election Race: Time for Serra to Get a Move On
Lula – Brazil’s Olympic Champion
Brazil’s Oil Wealth: Lula’s “New Independence Day” Rally Goes Flat
A Life in the Day of São Paulo
Will Brazil’s Sarney Fall on His Sword?
Brazil: The Plot Thickens as Lula’s Presidential Candidate Faces Health Crisis
Brazil: Lula Starts to Throw His Weight Around
Congress Still Tramples on Brazilians Rights 25 Years After the “Direct Elections Now” Campaign
Hold the Front Page – Brazil’s Interest Rates Head for Single Digits
Around Brazil: The Many Faces of São Paulo – Tips for Newcomers
Brazil: Will Obama Mention the “Brics” or just the “Rics”?
Brazil 2009 – The Year of Living Dangerously
Brazil: São Paulo Mayoral Election – a Foretaste of the Presidential Race?
Looking for Brazil’s Moon Under Water
Brazil’s Lula Finally Stops Playing the Blame Game
Brazil: Coming Up – Serra versus Dilma?
Brazil Becomes Middle Class but Not Bourgeois
Where is Brazil’s Barack Obama?
Brazil: Lula Loses Some of His Moral Luster
Lost Your Job on Wall Street? Head for Brazil!
Brazil: Lula Loves Investment Grade – Whatever That Is
There’s No Business Like Oil Business – in Brazil Anyway
Benefits of Brazil’s Growth Start to Spread
Let Brazilians Sort Out the Problems of the Amazon
Brazil’s Politicians Set to Cash in on Oil and Gas Discoveries
Brazil: Lula Learns the Lesson of Not Planning Ahead
Cops and Robbers Brazilian Style
Brazil: Oscar Freire – São Paulo’s Street of Dreams
Brazil: Lula Called to Account on Tax
Will Lula Leave Brazil in Safe or Unsafe Hands?
Senate Spits in the Face of the Brazilian People
The Lord Mayor Goes Zapping the NYSE in Brazil
Brazil: Economic Boom – Political Gloom
Around Brazil: Natal – Sun, Sand Dunes and Solitude or Hassle, Hustlers and Hookers
ACM – Brazil Will Never See His Like Again
Brazilians Let Politicians Treat Them as Doormats
Senate Chairman Upholds Tradition of Treating Brazil with Contempt
Brits Turn Their Backs on Brazil
Look Out for the New BBC – the Brazilian Broadcasting Corporation
Navel Gazing in Brasilia – Largesse in São Paulo
Brazil’s Politicians Share the Spoils
Cida – A Brazilian Entrepreneur
Ten Top Brazilian Songs to Download on Your iPod
Lula Lets Brazilians Down by Failing to Exercise His Authority
Brazil: Laid Back Lula Finally Gets His Team (Almost) Together
The George W. Bush PR Show Comes to Brazil
Briefing Bush on Brazil the CIA Way
US Authorities Tackle Brazil’s White Collar Criminals
Brazil’s Opposition Parties Try to End Disarray
Lula Faces Arm-Wrestling Contest with New Congress
Brazil Waits for Lula to Return from Holiday
Around Brazil: Santana de Parnaiba
Brazilians Start to Stand Up for Their Rights
Darfur – Brazil’s African Side Show
Economics and Politics in Brazil – a Tangled Web
Brazil’s Strange Idea of Democracy
Brazil: John Pizzarelli – the Boy from Ipanema
Brazil’s Stock Market: the Path to Riches or Rags?
Brazil: Lula Unlikely to Change Course after His Massive Victory
Brazil: Privatization – Lula and Alckmin Defend the Indefensible
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 2
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin Hits Lula but Lands No Killer Blow
Brazil: Lula Pays the Penalty for Complacency
Brazil: Does Lula Deserve to Win?
Brazil: Cardoso Writes a Poison Pen Letter
Monte Verde – Brazil’s Green Mountain
Brazil’s Gross Disappointing Product
Brazil’s Election – Alckmin Hands Lula Victory on a Plate
Lula Hits Back at Congress
Brazil’s Presidential Election May Not be a Walkover for Lula
Pity the Brazilian Voter
Brazil’s Fainthearts Let the Nation Down
Now is the Winter of Brazil’s Discontent
World Cup brings Out the Best and Worst in Brazil
Brazil’s Big Spender
Brazil: The Dogs of War are Unleashed in São Paulo
Brazil: Self-Righteous Indignation Marks Bolivian Nationalization
Brazil: Lula Still Vulnerable
Brazil: The PSDB Takes the Hard Road
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 3
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 2
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin the Hare Takes on Serra the Tortoise
Patronizing Brazilians the Politically Correct Way
Brazil: Election Gives Voters Chance to Clean Up Congress
Brazil: Joo Pessoa – a Victim of its Own Success
No Consistency in Brazil’s Foreign Policy
Brazil: Sitting in the Shadow of Sarney and Magalhes
Brazil: Gentrification Creeps Up On São Paulo
Dirt Flies as Brazilian Parties Aim for Presidency
Brazilians Vote for Guns and Death Not Peace and Love
Brazil’s Gun Lobby Launches Hysterical Campaign Against Arms Ban
Jews and Arabs Find Success in Brazil
Brazil’s Politicians Start Looking Ahead to Next Year
Brazil: Lula Down but Certainly Not Out
Brazil’s Congress Struggles to Cope with Ongoing Crisis
Brazil: Scandal Threatens Presidential Mandate System
Brazil: If Lula is to Survive He Needs to Change His Tactics
Brazil: Many Parties – Few Ideas
Brazil Through Foreign Eyes
Helping the Helpless in Brazil
Pinheiros – São Paulo’s Best District
Growing Old (Dis)gracefully in Brazil
Canudos, Still With Us 100 Years Later
The Rise of the Brazilian Empire
Brazil and Portugal – The Samba and the Fado
Brazil – Just A State Of Mind
Brazil: For Lula, is Ignorance Bliss?
Brazil: Pay Day – or Pay Dirt?

By Joe Naab
May 29, 2012

I will share with you in this article the best tip I know that will literally add more than 1,000 words to your Brazilian Portuguese vocabulary by the time you finish reading.

Required Student Level
Even a beginner can benefit from this tip, especially if they refer back to it or simply keep it in mind as their skills improve over time. The most impact from this tip will come to those who know how to conjugate verbs. The most basic conjugations are learned at the basic level, with a few intermediate conjugations added later.

What’s Great about this Tip
What’s great about this tip is that there’s nothing at all to memorize. You can use this on the fly as you are thinking what you want to say in English and can instantly translate it into Portuguese. I’ve been doing this for years and rarely do I get it wrong. It’s simply awesome!

The Fundamental Thing to Know
Here it is-nearly all English words that end in tion” (eg. translation), will be the same word in Brazilian Portuguese, except that the “tion” will be replaced with “ão” (eg. translaão). The “c” with the little fishhook beneath it is called “c cedula”, and has the sound of an “s”. the “ão” in Portuguese, for those who are already speaking it, has the dreaded nasal sound, as if you are pushing the word “own” both up into the top of your nose and deep back into your throat at the same time as you say it.

This is the Tip of the Iceberg
This is already a decent tip if all you got was an immediate one-to-one translation for words ending in “tion”. I have no idea how many words in English end in “tion”, it must be in the hundreds, easily. Some examples off the top of my head, – agitation, frustration, dictation, contemplation, observation, rumination, organization, temptation, immigration, experimentation. What’s great, as I wrote above, is that you don’t have to find all these words in a premeditated manner and then memorize them all. The process will arrive in your head instantly at the moment you need it.

The Awesome Multiplication Factor of the Tip – It’s in the Verb!
Take special note that all English words that end in “tion” are actually verbs at their root. Translation is to translate, organization is to organize. Note also that not all English verbs have this form of the verb. There is no “talkation” for the verb, to talk. Thus, there is some limit to it’s application.

The technique that produces the multiplication factor is to reverse engineer this form of the word, ending in “ão”, into the dozen or more verb forms of the word. In doing this you literally add thousands of words to your Brazilian Portuguese vocabulary without any need for memorization.

NOTE: I am noticing now that almost, if not all these words, are Portuguese verbs that end in “ar”. This will make it’s application even simpler.

An Example of the Full Set using the Verb, to Experiment
We begin with the word “experimentation” and then work it through.

  1. experimentation –> experimentaão
  2. to experiment (infinitive) –> experimentar
  3. experimenting (gerund) –> experimentando
  4. experimented (past participle) –> experimentado
  5. I experiment –> Eu experimento
  6. You experiment –> Voc experimenta
  7. He/she experiments –> Ele/Ela experimenta
  8. We experiment –> Nos experimentamos
  9. You guys experiment –> Vocs experimentam
  10. They experiment –> Eles experimentam
  11. I used to experiment –> Eu experimentava
  12. You used to experiment –> Voc experimentava
  13. He/she used to experiment –> Ele/Ela experimentava
  14. We used to experiment –> Nos experimentvamos
  15. You guys used to experiment –> Vocs experimentavam
  16. They used to experiment –> Eles experimentavam
  17. I experimented –> Eu experimentei
  18. You experimented –> Voc experimentou
  19. He/she experimented –> Ele/Ela experimentou
  20. We experimented –> Nos experimentmos
  21. You guys experimented –> Vocs experimentaram
  22. They experimented –> Eles experimentaram
  23. I will experiment –> Eu experimentarei
  24. You will experiment –> Voc experimentar
  25. He/she will experiment –> Ele/Ela experimentar
  26. We will experiment –> Nos experimentaremos
  27. You guys will experiment –> Vocs experimentarão
  28. They will experiment –> Eles experimentarão

In Closing
This lists adds the three general uses of the verb (infinitive, gerund and past participle), plus verb conjugations for the four most common verb conjugations that you’ll use every day, – present, past continuous, past single occurrence and future indicative. Note that there are at least three other conjugations that are more advanced that can also be derived as above. I left them out for simplicity’s sake.

So there you have it, literally thousands of new Brazilian Portuguese words that you don’t have to memorize added to your vocabulary in the time that it took you to read this short article. Enjoy!

Joe Naab is the author of Brazil for Life!, a how-to living guide for those who want to start a new life or have a second home in Brazil. He is presently working on a near-coastal, countryside real estate subdivision project outside the city of Florianópolis, Santa Catarina. He can be found at http://brazilforlife.com and reached by email at info@brazilforlife.com. His Youtube channel is called BrazilforLifeTV.

Previous articles by Joe:

How to Work and Support Yourself in Brazil


By Our Man in São Paulo
May 7, 2012

On one side, large plasma screens showing Barcelona v Santos, on the other a coffee bar selling refreshments. This did not feel at all like the kind of hospital I was used to. Along one side the wall was clear glass behind which stood row after row of cots – each with their own individual webcam.

Filled with tables and chairs, the waiting area was more like the kind of coffee shop you find in an airport than a hospital. This feeling was engendered mainly by the large plasma screen at one end which displayed a list of names highlighted in different colours. Instead of a list of planes, this board displayed a different kinds of arrivals. It was a list of all the deliveries scheduled that day.

On each line was written the scheduled time of arrival, the mother’s name, the doctor in charge of the delivery and the status. Each line was highlighted in a colour dependent on its status, white was ‘scheduled’, yellow was ‘in transit’ to the theatre, green indicated that the caesarean was in progress and blue showed that the mother was recuperating from her anaesthetic.
My sister in law had a C-section scheduled and we’d all been invited to witness the event. Those fortunate enough to be able to afford private healthcare in Brazil are able to schedule the birth into their diaries. In this case the birth had been scheduled for the Wednesday but, following tests, the procedure had been brought forward to Sunday.

My own daughter had been born by emergency caesarean in St George’s, Tooting, South London after 48 hours of labour and bucket loads of drugs failed to coax my wife’s cervix to dilate more than 8cm. The combination of my daughter’s elongated cranium and the site of the surgeon massaging my wife’s drug soaked womb, in an attempt to get it back in, left me with the impression that planned caesareans might not be such a bad idea.

I was still marvelling at the arrivals board when the Sunday football on the other plasma screen was interrupted by the hospital logo superimposed over pink cartoon clouds. A group waiting at tables suddenly became quite excited and rushed to the screens with cameras at the ready. There followed a short animation in which a cartoon stork carrying a pink bundle flew over a cartoon São Paulo and dropped the bundle onto the roof of the hospital. Then a live picture of a newborn baby appeared surrounded by pink graphics displaying the names of the baby’s parents together with the delivery time and weight of the newborn – though, in my experience, Brazilian’s are a lot less bothered about discovering the exact time and weight at birth than we are in the UK.

The sight of this group of Brazilians taking photos of a screen displaying images of a baby whom moments earlier had been cosy in its mother’s womb was fantastic enough but what followed was truly jaw dropping.

When the time came for my sister-in-law’s name to change from yellow to green, we left the cafe and took the lift to the floor below where we were shown to a large frosted window next to a large number 1. It was at one end of a narrow corridor which seemed to accommodate frosted windows 2 to 7.

After a short wait the window suddenly became miraculously defrosted revealing an operating theatre just at the moment my niece-in-law was being removed from her mother’s womb in time to be held aloft for the mother and, masked father inside and the photo snapping crowd outside to see.

Unexpectedly the window remained defrosted to enable further photo opportunities with father holding the baby while mother was being sewn up. Mother, apparently had no objection to a sea of grinning faces watching her have her innards shoved back inside. Preferring instead to share the birth of her daughter with family and friends in this way.

According to the Brazilian Association of Nurse Midwives and Obstetrics C-sections account for 70% of deliveries in public hospitals and 90% in private hospitals but if this is true it reveals a dramatic growth in C-sections since 2006 when rates in public hospitals were measured at 30.1% and in the supplementary (private) health sector at 80.7%. Nevertheless, both rates are considerably greater than the World Health Organisations recommendation that the C-section rate should not be higher than 10-15%.

In addition to the obvious disadvantages of increased and uncomfortable recover time, risk of scarring, infection or complications a recent Brazilian study has revealed that Caesarean delivery is associated with an increased risk of obesity in adulthood. Nevertheless, the speed and convenience of the C-section is too good to pass up for increasing numbers of Brazilian mothers who choose to have their children delivered this way.

0″

Do you want to go on a free tour of the Theatro Municipal in São Paulo? The tour will be of the theater itself and theater museum and will last for a little less than 2 hours.

Note: The tour will be conducted in English and is limited to 32 places.

The tour will be at 1pm on Saturday 17th December 2011.

To reserve your place you must contact Bill Stewart via bill@wsaj.net

By Ana Corazza
December 7, 2011

When he told his family the great news he had just received from his boss it was a celebration. His wife had already started organizing a big dinner; his teenage kids were already planning vacations in the Swiss Alps next season. Everyone was happy until he had the chance to say that they would have to move to Brazil.

The whole idea of going to South America on vacation was great, but to leave the country and live abroad wasn’t in their plans. The worries began: what about the violence, what kind of cars do people drive there, who would support them with the real estate issue, where would they live, what school for their children, how would it be to live in Brazil not speaking a word of Portuguese and knowing almost nothing about the people’s way of life and culture?

But they were moving to Rio after all, what a dream! The wonderful and famous city of Rio de Janeiro, a place used to receiving foreigners from all over the world. It wouldn’t be so bad. So they moved. It was a great opportunity.

The first few weeks at the hotel were comfortable. It really felt like being on vacation. Finding an apartment wasn’t so hard after all, the real state agency contracted by the company took care of everything. They had a car available for the family – with a driver – in the first month. Time passed. They started to find out what would it be to finally have a routine as expats in Brazil. Until they started to feel at home” with the only difference they weren’t really at home, at least not just yet.

So one day dad parked the car in front of Santos Dumont Airport – the national airport of Rio de Janeiro – hours later he came back, got the keys from his pocket and… the company’s car wasn’t there anymore. He looked for it, managed to ask the cab drivers if they had seen his car. Nothing. He took a cab and told his secretary the car was stolen. After a while they found out he had parked in a forbidden area and the vehicle was towed by the Transit Department – Detran-RJ.

Days later, after a weekend in a nice hotel in Angra dos Reis, a town at 157km far from Rio, dad ate acaraj, a spicy delicacy from Bahia, and went back home feeling like his stomach had moved to his back. It was Sunday night, he couldn’t stand feeling so sick. So the couple decided to take a chance and go to the closest drugstore to buy a medicine for him.

They managed to speak Portuguese, the attendant managed to speak English. They tried to explain what he was feeling and what they needed but no one seemed to understand. So they pointed saying “He has a pro-blem, um pro-ble-ma” and pointed to his belly. Finally, the attendant answered: “Oh, I got it, you want Viagra. Right? Viagra”. “No, no Viagra. He’s got diarrhoea”, the wife replied.

That night they left the drugstore laughing. He had some tea at home and woke up feeling better the next day. The family thought it was better to have some Portuguese lessons and so they did. And it helped them get through many other situations they would have to face in the future. Some were worth laughing about, others not so much.

This story and many others were told to Ana Corazza and Maria Arruda by their students in the 11 years they’ve been helping foreigners of the many different nationalities to communicate in Portuguese and understand Brazilian culture and way of life.

Most recently they designed Projeto Brasileirinho, a project created to help unite foreigners – be they residents or tourists in Rio de Janeiro – and Brazilians around the linguistic and cultural aspects of Brazil in order to provide a better integration, assimilation and comprehension of the diversity of Brazilian people as a whole, thereby contributing to a more positive and productive intercultural exchange.

Projeto Brasileirinho starts its activities in 2012 at Instituto Cultural Casaro de Austregsilo de Athayde, in the charming neighborhood of Cosme Velho, in Rio de Janeiro. The cultural institute is surrounded by the largest urban forest in the world and only a few steps away from one of the most visited tourist spots of Rio de Janeiro and the world – the Christ Statue. For more information, visit: www.projetobrasileirinho.com.br