Intercultural Study Trip to Brazil
17.07. - 30.07.2017
What’s awaiting you
Has it been a long lasting dream of yours or does it just sound like a tempting idea to you to dive into a vibrant, rich and dazzling culture home to more than 206 millions of „Brazilians“ and to even more different kinds of plants and animals? Are you curious about Brazil’s economic, political or even social impact on us? Do you want to know how the Brazilians deal with urging questions as for example how to connect better with the local natural environment in order to live more ecologically? And are you simply fascinated by traditional sports, such as Capoeira or by Brazil’s liveliest dance, Samba, and would you like to experience it on the spot? Would you like to be able to tell what the country’s motto Ordem e Progresso (order and progress) means in your eyes after having had an insight into the different subcultures of this state?
Starting in Salvador, the first capital of Brazil and located within the state of Bahia, we’re going to explore the 3rd-largest city of the country. Salvador is not only a fascinating place because of its economical impact (sugar and crude oil refinery as well as cacao, cotton and tobacco processing, but Salvador has also a leading position in the international trade market). Its historical developement is as well being considered very interesting and important in the history of the whole state of Brazil. We are going to visit the Pelourinho which represents the heart of Salvador. Years ago this colourful neighbourhood was known for its slave markets; drugs and prostitution were inherent in everday life. Today it’s hard to imagine this dark past, now it is a lively and colourful place where artists and musicans like to perform and entertain their audience. In order to get an insight on how natural resources are collected or processed we are going to travel from Salvador to Itabuna and spend a day on a traditional cacao plantation and see what the daily life of Brazilian farmers looks like. But not only Salvador will fascinate us, the journey will further guide us into the stunning and varied nature of Brazil. Visiting the national park located within the high plain called Chapada dos Veadeiros, you will experience the unique feeling of freedom given by nature and get to know the diversity of fauna and flora of the cerrado on a guided tour. We will further learn about permaculture during a workshop given by local guides and experts of „Ciclo Sustainable“. Spending 3, almost 4 days in this wonderful area being also famous for its waterfalls, you definitely won’t have to miss out doing some sports! And last but not least we are going to visit the vibrant Rio de Janeiro with the popular Sugarloaf, take time to enjoy a typical churrasco and take part in a samba lesson at night. We will further visit a NGO, talk to a journalist and many others who like to share their knowledge about Brazil’s history, economy, politics and talk about its huge contrasts. So we will get a new, local and most importantly, a personally shaped perspective on Brazil. To feel really close to this amazing country, typical food, characteristic sports and music with catching rhythms can’t be missed.
- Dive into a vibrant, rich and dazzling culture home to more than 206 millions of „Brazilians“ and to even more different kinds of plants and animals.
- Learn about Brazil’s economic, political or even social impact on us.
- Connect with the local natural environment in the gorgeous Chapada dos Veadeiros by enjoying a hiking tour with local guides and swimming in waterfalls.
- Get introduced to Capoeira in Salvador and to Samba in Rio de Janeiro.
- Spend a day on a traditional cacao plantation and see what the daily life of Brazilian farmers looks like.
- Visit Rio from above by taking a gondola to Sugarloaf.
- Enjoy a typical churrasco.
- Visit the “Favela Brass Project”, a world famous NGO which educates children through music.
- Talking to a journalist from Rio de Janeiro.
Meet the Organizers
Julia studies German as well as Spanish literature and linguistics and Anthropology at the University of Zurich. During her gap year in 2014 she spent three months in Brazil mainly because she wanted to visit a good friend from her exchange year and also because of one of her childhood dreams of being in the rainforest and floating on the great Amazon river. She then got to know different cities and places located in various states within Brazil and with different climatic characteristics. She is still and will continuously be fascinated about how 200 millions of „Brazilians“ with different ethnic backgrounds live together and continuously contribute to shape the socioeconomic, environmental and cultural landscape of a land they all call their home. She’s a former scouts leader and has some experience in doing voluntary work (e.g. organizing camps) with AFS.
Tabea studies communication science and business economics at the University of Zurich. She loves travelling to many countries and visiting new places. Discovering and learning about other cultures, traditions and rituals is how she likes to broaden her horizon. Although she has not been to Brazil its culture has always attracted her. A culture which is shaped of contrasts, influenced by many different ethnicities and popular for music and dancing made Tabea reading more and more about this country. As economy is part of her subject at university, the important role of the primary products and their significant impact on the economy of Brazil fascinate Tabea. During previous language stays Tabea became friends with some Brazilians that she still is in touch with.
- Guided tour through the city of Salvador. Salvador is located in the northeast of Brazil and within the state of Bahia. Discover the colourful part of the city called Pelourinho, a place with a dark past.
- optional event and not yet sure: attend a traditional religious ceremony called candomblé.
- “Welcome Orientation” at hostel in Salvador held by the organizers.
- Discover and learn more facts about the history of Bahia’s moving past in the Afro-Brazilian museum.
- Brace your five senses for the visit of Salvador’s not only biggest but also liveliest and traditional market Feira de São Joaquim.
- Optional: Visit of a capoeira school an enjoy seeing professionals master this traditional sport which can most likely be described as dance and martial art at the same time and further enjoy learning capoeira from the beginning!
- Travel to Ilhéus, a major city at the coastline of Brazil also being the hometown of Jorge Amado, one of Brazil’s best known authors who has also published “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon among others”.
- Have a look at the city and discover the different churches in Ilhéus.
- Visit of the Jorge Amado museum and of the Bar Vesúvio, a place where the plot of his novel takes place.
- Visit of a Cacao plantation in Itabuna. Presentation of the company and guided visit of the land by the responsible with his explanations about the cultivation and the harvest of the cacao beans as well as the further (drying) process of them. We’ll be able to enjoy drinking the fresh juice of the fruit flesh of the cacao.
- Driving back to Salvador.
- Enjoy the rich Bahian food, such as e.g. Vatapá, Moqueca, Acarajé, Carurú, Churrasco, Carne do sol or the national dish Feijoada for dinner.
- Travel to Brasília by plane.
- Meeting with students of the University of Brasília. Discuss about the part sustainability plays in the different socio-economic settings of Brazil.
- Visiting the city and have a look at the characteristic works of Oscar Niemeyer.
- Travel to the small town of Alto Paraíso de Goiás which is located adjacent to the Chapada dos Veadeiros national park, and a place which attracts many followers of mysticism, natural therapies, and spiritualism.
- Optional: Forró (dance) workshop in the evening
- Hiking in the national park. Learn about the stunning fauna and flora of the cerrado and swim in waterfalls.
- Maybe spend the night in the cerrado, a vast tropical savanna ecoregion.
- Learn about the different aspects of permaculture during a workshop with the developpers of the project «Ciclo Sustainable».
- „Mid-term-orientation”: discuss first impressions of trip so far and further frame personal hopes and expectations.
- Benefit from behind-the-scenes tour of the Swiss embassy and discussion with Swiss ambassador André Regli.
- Flight to wonderful Rio de Janeiro in the morning
- Meeting with students of International Relations from the «Universidade Federal Fluminense»: discussion about the role of Brazil in the international field e.g. of politics and economy
- Guided city tour by a carioca, a specific term referring to Rio de Janeiro’s inhabitants
- Visiting the “Favela Brass Project” in Santa Teresa, a NGO which educates children through music and gives them the posibility to learn an instrument (http://www.favelabrass.org/)
- Meeting a Brazilian journalist and talk about the current political situation of Brazil
- Enjoy afternoon sun at one of Rio de Janeiro’s marvellous beaches
- Optional: Visit a samba school in the evening and learn how to samba yourself
- optional: Visit the Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açucar) by gondola or sink into a green serenity while walking through the botanical garden.
- „End of Trip-Orientation“, this will be an evaluation of the study trip where you have the possibility to go over your experiences and share them with your group.
- Enjoy a typical churrasco (grilled meat) and enjoy tropical fruits for a last time together.