Photos by Natalie Gonzalez, (American University) Student Correspondent CET Brazil, Spring 2017
During the week of Carnaval, a few friends and I visited Boiçucanga—a beach town in São Sebastião about three hours outside of the city of São Paulo. The beaches were absolutely beautiful. The water was warm and great for swimming.
During our time in Boiçucanga, we visited waterfalls near the beach town. The waterfalls are a popular spot to swim, and some people even climb the rocks on the side of the waterfall and jump off.
It is common to drink fresh coconut water in Brazil. Many people were selling coconuts on the beaches in São Sebastião. The coconut water was delicious—much better than boxed coconut water. After finishing the coconut water, we were able to open the coconut and eat the meat inside.
In São Paulo, there were many “blocos” during the week of Carnaval and the weeks leading up to Carnaval. The “blocos” were full of people who were dancing in the streets and dressed up to celebrate Carnaval.
For our class, Poverty and Inequality in 21st Century Brazil, we visited Casa de Zezinho—an NGO that works with underprivileged communities in the south of São Paulo. The goal of the NGO is to give opportunities, provide a safe space and teach children through art, play, music, dance and other activities. While we were there, the children gave us a piece of their artwork. They made small houses out of paper and attached adjectives to their houses that they wanted to see in their own homes such as respect, health, peace, joy and love.
In addition to the many activities that Casa de Zezinho offers for children, they also teach children the importance of respecting the environment and taking care of the earth. They stress the importance of recycling and being sustainable, which can be seen through these pieces of artwork.
In addition to working with the children in the community, Casa de Zezinho also works with parents in the community. They have a workshop inside the NGO where mothers can come to sew bags and purses to sell. Here is an example of two beautiful purses made by women in the community.
Açai is a very popular food in Brazil. In Brazil, it is common to eat açai with fruit, granola and condensed milk. It’s the perfect refreshing treat during a day at the beach.
My roommates and I visited a museum about the life and career of Silvio Santos. Silvio Santos is a famous Brazilian TV host that created and hosted multiple game shows and television programs in Brazil.
There are many delicious restaurants around Perdizes. One of my favorites is a vegetarian restaurant called Raizes Zen. It’s located right next to PUC and has a variety of tasty vegetarian meals.
For one of our Portuguese classes, our professor took us on a field trip to the Museu do Futebol, which is located inside the Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho (Estádio do Pacaembu) and is walking distance from PUC. During the outing, we were able to see the stadium, explore the museum and practice our Portuguese.