Brazil Manorpark Properties
Brazil a big country
Brazil is the world´s fifth largest country and takes more than 7 hours to fly from North to South. This inevitably provides an extreme range of diversity across the entire country from the people, to the climate, to the geography as well as to the economies of the different regions.
The population of Brazil is around 186 million people and is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with the majority of the population concentrated along the coastal areas and in the cities. Brazil is a former colony of Portugal and, in spite of its diverse make-up has maintained full unity primarily due to the Portuguese language, which is spoken throughout the country, and the Roman Catholic faith which is still prominent amongst the people.
Portuguese is the official language and whilst accents vary from region to region, all Brazilians are able to communicate with each other using the same language. A knowledge of some Spanish is also useful for visitors as this is effectively the second language and has many common links with Portuguese. Whilst English is not widely spoken or understood, it is becoming noticeably more common in several of the key tourist areas, such as Natal, and certainly it is possible to order a meal or a drink in English in some of the larger and better known bars and restaurants. One of the very endearing qualities of the local people is that they will make every effort to communicate with foreign visitors and whilst language can sometimes be a barrier generally speaking, and with some patience, it is a very easy and enjoyable experience moving around both the urban and rural areas of the country.
Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world although there is wide diversity in how the faith is practised due to the range of different influences and cults that have been introduced into the country by various nationalities, particularly those from Africa. As in many other countries around the world the practice of religion is changing and while Catholicism remains an important influence, other forms of religion such as Evangelical Christianity, Afro-Brazilian cults and spiritual sects are becoming more common place.
The Brazilian people are extremely friendly and hospitable. They love to party, adore a wide range of different music, have a great sense of humour and of course love football and beach volley ball. This strong sense of "joie de vivre" is very apparent across all sectors of society, in spite of the wide diversity in income levels and styles of living, and ensures a high level of ambience and a welcoming attitude towards foreign visitors.
However, and in spite of the low stress environment, not all is rosy and like all countries there are inevitably problems as well. Crime can be an issue depending on where you are and what you happen to be doing. Generally speaking the more serious crime areas in Brazil are around the sprawling, metropolitan cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador and certainly these cities receive the majority of the adverse publicity. However so long as visitors take the usual precautions and avoid any obvious signs of opulence they can generally move around without any problem or fear. Unfortunately tourists have become an inevitable target in many cities around the world and Brazilian cities are no different in this respect.
Natal, by contrast, is still considered safe and, in 2005, was voted the safest city in Brazil. The incidence of crime is still low although petty crime in the main tourist areas is reportedly on the increase. Whilst visitors should be vigilant and alert, there is no doubt that they can have an excellent time without worrying unduly. Outside of the main towns and cities, the local rural populations are warm and welcoming and it is highly unlikely that visitors will experience any crime/security problems in the more coastal/rural areas but the usual precautions should still be taken.