A couple of days ago I was asked to write this and try to explain why Brazil is the best country to go to as a Global Volunteer. As a Brazilian who has been living in North America for some years now I thought of the many things of which I could talk about to make my point to you.
I could talk about the incredible beaches, from Bahia in the North to Santa Catarina down South, that surely will take your breath away and will make you never want to leave. Or the great weather that has us using flip-flops all year round (yeah, no snow!). I could also talk about the landmarks of my country, Crist the Redeemer in Rio, the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer in Brasília, the Iguaçu falls near the border with Argentina. Perhaps of our food, a mix between traditional Portuguese cousine and the multitude of flavors and aromas brought in by the immigrants throughout the centuries from Japan, Italy, Germany, Turkey and many other places. I could even talk about our passion for soccer, to much more than a sport, almost a religion, and how being in the country of soccer during the soccer world cup is an experience everyone should have. Ultimately, however, I think the best thing about Brazil and the reason you should go is perhaps simpler than all of this: it’s people.
Ultimately, however, I think the best thing about Brazil and the reason you should go is perhaps simpler than all of this: it’s people.
Brazilians and our culture are best defined by passion. We feel passionate about everything: about each other, what we do, our country, everything. We like to live life in an intense way, and this translates as a warmth and intimacy with each other that is unparalleled. Visitors in Brazil have the impression of being locals, they get to experience the culture first hand because Brazilians are just like that, very warm, open, friendly, and ready to take anyone into their homes for a cup of coffee, a bite to eat and good stories to tell. We are a people trademarked by our big heart and the sheer desire to be happy while also making others happy.
Although Brazil can be described as this beautiful country with amazing people, it’s far from being perfect. Social, political, and environmental issues have been troubling the country since it’s formation. As a volunteer, however, you will have the chance to help and create a positive impact in that society. You, that will most definitely be treated with so much love and care by my people, will be able to give back, even if just a bit, to them and to their country.
We have two sayings in Brazil that I think are a great way to end this piece. The first is about passion: “Whoever has gone through life without passion, may be more, but definitely knows less.” I think it epitomizes the way we see life, as a journey full of opportunities that we must throw ourselves into in order to make the most out of it.
The second is about grit and something usually we sing at soccer matches when our national squad, the “Selecao” is playing: “I am Brazilian and I never give up.” I never have nor will I give up fighting for my country, a country that I love so, so much. I believe that we can have a better, safer, more educated and sustainable Brazil and so I invite you.
Come live life to its fullest, come fall in love, come experience true passion, and come fight with me for a better Brazil and a better world for all of us.