Brazil’s protests have died down to some degree, though a strike and more protests are planned for July 11, and demonstrations are likely as far down the line as September. The political fallout has continued, with more decisions on the national and local levels of government. The protests have spawned a vast and lively debate, and have revealed that Brazilians don’t feel represented by their elected officials.
The demonstrations, across Brazil and even carried out by Brazilians abroad, are really about inequality and injustice — the foundations of corruption and impunity.
NOTE: I don’t recall protest like this since people hit the streets against President Collor back in 1992. It is long, long overdue. Will change come? Probably, but it will take years to change the culture of corruption in the government. But at least it is a first step.
The sound of Portuguese spoken with an accent is just one of the undeniable signs that foreigners have arrived in the favela. And the “gringos” are here to stay. Hailing from many countries around the globe, these newcomers have passed up life on the “asphalt,” as the formal areas of the city are known, in favor of settling in favelas. More affordable housing, along with improved safety following the establishment ofPacifying Police Units (UPP, by the Portuguese acronym), are leading a growing number of foreigners to seek housing in the favela. While the foreigners are successfully integrating into the fabric of the neighborhood, residents and experts warn that this trend, which is causing property values to soar, will take its toll on long-time residents.
Brazil is too expensive for budget travelers. Or is it?
Evidence in the affirmative is strong. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are now the most expensive cities in the Western Hemisphere, by some measures. The dollar that used to get you 3 or almost 4 Brazilian reais at various points in the last decade now gets you just 2. Flying to Brazil from New York takes at least nine hours and can easily run $1,000.
But there is no need to be intimidated.
What can we say about Rio de Janeiro? The Brazilian destination par excellence, few visitors will leave Brazil without a stay in Rio. Rio is a city of extremes built on a absolutely unique location that has no rival on Earth. A city that makes a profound impression on its visitors.