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Gramado Named Best Destination in Brazil

Hi all, Recently I told you about where I now live, in the Serra Gaúcha in the South of Brazil. This is a lovely area, though almost certainly not what you think of when someone says “Brazil.” This is a land of highlands populated largely by fair-skinned folks of German descent. It’s also pretty chilly […]


Hi all, I recently moved to the South of Brazil, which is considerably different from Rio – or the Northeast, or even from South Paulo. This region has much in common with neighboring Uruguay and Argentina. For instance, the folks here love their erva-mate usually just referred to as mate (and yerba mate in Spanish). Mate, in Portuguese […]

Destination: Canela

Hi all, Canela, which means “cinnamon” in Portuguese, is a small town in the south of Brazil. It’s located in the Serra Gaúcha, or Gaúcha Highlands, and it attracts many tourists every year, primarily because of ecoturism. If you enjoy activities such as hiking, rock climbing, river rafting, rappelling, or shooting zip lines, this is […]

Fire in nightclub kills more than 200

Today I have sad news to relate. Early yesterday (Sunday) morning a fire broke out in the nightclub “Kiss” in the university town of Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. The most recent count is 231 dead, most of them young people 18-22. It appears that the blaze was […]

Friday Postcard: The Serra Gaúcha, Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil

Hi all, The southernmost state of Brazil is Rio Grande do Sul, or “Big River of the South”. In its northeastern corner you’ll find the Serra Gaúcha, which could be translated as the “Cowboy Mountain Range”. Gaúcho is simply the Portuguese version of the Spanish “gaucho”, the cowboy of the Argentine pampas, and “gaúcha” is […]

Canela: A Brazil You Never Imagined

Hi all, When you hear the word “Brazil”, what do you think of? Odds are, you picture sprawling beaches and teeny bikinis. Maybe pictures of wild Carnival parades come to mind. Or perhaps you imagine yourself on a narrow footpath deep in the Amazon jungle. And while all of those pictures ARE Brazil, there is […]