Part of the reason is, of course, the civil war in El Salvador and geography can play a slight role (although the Bush DOJ believed that so many Brazilians in the early part of the last decade were coming into the US through Mexico that they pressured the Mexican government to require Brazilians to get visas to travel to Mexico and El Salvador is much more densely populated than Brazil), but there is a larger role and that is addressed in this article from 2007:
[Brazilian immigrants] generally come from more urban and educated classes than other major groups of illegal immigrants from Latin America, studies show. Many returning now have been investing their American earnings in Brazilian property.
I don't necessarily buy the language argument as broached by both Weeks and Tyler. Large Brazilian communities exist in many places and not merely where Portuguese immigrants preceded them in locations such as Newark, NJ and various communities in and around Boston. Austin, TX, Mt. Vernon, NY, Danbury, CT and many other locations have significant Brazilian populations. Mt. Vernon in particular has been transformed for the better by the Brazilian community there.
It's been my experience that growth in Brazilian immigrant communities is often endogenous: there are at least 8 Portuguese language masses taking place in the New York metro area, restaurants and stores serving the community grow and develop and influence the larger communities. In my first visit to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, I was surprised to see such traditonal Brazilian fare as pão de queijo (cheese bread) being sold at the stadium.
When Mércia and I married the plan was from the beginning to some day move (back in her case, to in mine) to Brazil. This has been the norm for some years, especially as I see more and more of our friends returning.
I'm truly stunned that the most popular news magazine program in this country would actually do a segment on Latin America that doesn't involve coups, natural disasters, drugs or disease, so I'm generally pleased to see this segment on 60 Minutes focusing on Brazil:
I largely agree with the report regarding the infrastructure and the issue on training workers, but disagree with Eduardo Bueno, the historian/journalist/commentator, who seemed eager to generate old stereotypes about Brazil that seem more rooted in a carioca mentality, than say, one from Parana, Minas Gerais or Sao Paulo (yes, I know Bueno is from Rio Grande do Sul). There are plenty of serious, hardworking, dedictaed Brazilians. Now may very well be their time.
Paulo Moura was probably one of my favorite instrumentalists in Brazilian music. While he was quite versatile, I always liked him best when he was playing choro, certainly a genre in which he was a major force.
His talent always managed to lift my mood and his consummate musicianship was a treasure to behold. Judge for yourselves:
Mr. Trend is enthusiastic about Brasilia's 50th anniversary. I, alas, am not. I find the city to be unpleasant, impersonal, even downright Stalinist in its appearance.
It's a place in my mind utterly devoid of charm and a monument to the automobile. It is also a symbol of wasteful spending. There were no roads from the coast to the construction site, so building materials were brought in by helicopter. Even Oscar Niemeyer, the architect who designed the buildings is disappointed with what it has become.
It was wastefully expensive, but I suppose it's one of those places worth visiting once in your life. I have and have little desire to repeat the experience.
Mr. Trend has been blogging the hell out of Carnaval in Brazil this year, but I have to confess that the subject doesn't interest me that much. As Trend notes, the Rio version has become very commercial and it appears that someone is always determined to gin up controversy.
Full disclosure: I have never actually been in Brazil during Carnaval, but returned just before it started in 2006. That was an interesting experience as I was able to see some of the preparations for the neighborhood blocos (small local celebrations) that are not commercial, but in my mind, much more interesting.
I appreciate the fact that Trend points out that there is much more to it in the entire country than simply Rio. Credit should be given to the Wikipedia entry for giving fair mention to some of the others.
My criticisms notwithstanding, I do have some cousins who have appeared with a samba school, and the idea of appearing with one someday does elicit a brief frisson of interest.
How I wish I were there now:
Espirito Santo is an unusual, but very interesting state. While it has the misfortune of being wedged between three massively popular states (Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Minas Gerais) that dwarf it not only in size, but also in terms of the sheer volume of sights, activity and history, the state nonetheless has a great deal to offer.
It is the only state in Brazil, which, to my knowledge, the capital city, Vitória is not the largest city in the state; nearby Vila Velha is. While the beaches near the major cities are good, I like Itaunas and of course, thebeach near my future home, Barra do Jucu. To the left in the photo is the mouth of the Rio Jucu, near a nature reserve where cattle egrets come to roost at sunset. I plan to spend a lot of time on a kayak in that river.
Check it out.
Here. Every last word.
In noting some of the comments from people, it's remarkable how ignorant some people are. The reliably tendentious and in this case, clueless Big Tent Democrat in the comments to this post at TalkLeft makes the following comment:
I think it is not going to be a particularly successful Olympics in Rio imo. I do not believe that holding a World Cup in 2014 will leave Brazil in a great position to do what is necessary for an Olympics in 2016. There is a huge crime problem in Rio.
Not content to trash Rio, (notwithstanding the fact that two of us point out to him that Rio successfully staged the Pan Am Games two years ago), he then proceeds to trash South Africa making this comment:
I think the World Cup is going to be a mess next year.
I think the Olympics in Rio are likely to be a mess too.
Hell, I think the World Cup in Rio is going to be a mess.
And he bases this on what? In addition to reminding him about the Pan Am Games, I also point out that South Africa staged a successful Confederations Cup three months ago. Surely he must remember that. Brazil almost lost to the US. One wonders if he has ever even been to Rio.
If he's concerned about the safety, I’ve been to Rio some seven times. I have used the subway and the buses there with no problems. Last time I was there I saw numerous people on the subway with Ipods and without problems.
On New Years Eve 1999-2000, we walked from our cousin’s place in Botafogo through the Rebouças tunnel to Copacabana and back for the New Year’s celebration. There was not one arrest made tha night. I have walked from Botafogo to Flamengo, from Jardim Botanico to Lagoa Rodrigo Freitas. I have ridden the tram from Santa Teresa to Lapa.
I have found by using good judgment and good sense I have had no problems. Indeed, many of the homicides taking place in Rio are the result of police killing civilians.
He also - without a scintilla of proof, remarkably so for an attorney - claims that Chicago didn't invest enough in bribery.
If ignorance is bliss, he must be an incredibly happy man.In any event he never responded to the facts regarding thee Confederations Cup and the Pan Am Games in 2007.
As for the question of benefits to the host city, yes it can work out quite well. Barcelona (pdf file) is the greatest proof of that.
The Brazilian community here in New York apparently is trying to make the washing of 46th street to be a tradition along the lines of the washing of the steps of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil.
Details can be found here. It would great if some non-Brazilians showed up.
I've always been a firm believer that what is most important is not where you are, but where uou came from. The article notes rather vaguely that she grew up in the town of Dois Riachos in "northeast Brazil."
Here is where Dois Riachos is: The middle of the sertao in Alagoas.She's come from the sort of place they refer to in Brazil as so remote, the wind turns around to come back. This just makes her story all the more remarkable.