Monday, August 1st, 2016


  • The fifth largest country in the world, Brazil borders every South American country except Chile and Ecuador.
  • Brazil was named by Portuguese colonists after its red brazilwood trees that yielded a valuable dye.
  • Brazil is the top coffee-producing nation in the world, a distinction it has held for over 100 years. In 2014, it produced over 5 billion pounds (2.7 billion kilograms) of coffee beans. Coffee plantations cover over 10,000 square miles (27,000 square kilometers) of land in Brazil.
  • Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue was named one of the “new seven wonders of the world” in 2007, joining the Roman Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, and Petra.
  • Brazil has 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Iguazu National Park, which contains nearly two miles of waterfalls that straddle its border with Argentina.
  • Brazil contains the majority of the Amazon River, which is over 4,000 miles long. The Amazon River basin covers 2.7 million square miles and is home to the world’s largest rainforest, which is increasingly threatened by deforestation.
  • Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Portugal from 1808 to 1821 when Portuguese prince regent Dom Joao fled his home country during the Napoleonic wars, making Brazil the only colony to serve as a seat of government for its mother country.
  • Brazil has had three capitals: Salvador, during the colonial era; Rio de Janeiro, from 1763 to 1960; and Brasilia, from 1960 onward.
  • A Brazilian water polo player named Chocolate (full name: Victorino Ramos Fernandes) competed at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp (the team finished tied for fourth).
  • The country’s youngest-ever Olympian was Talita Rodrigues, who, at age 13, competed as a swimmer at the 1948 London Games.
  • Carnival is world-renowned, but Brazil has several widely celebrated festivals, including Bumba Meu Boi, a summer celebration with song, dance and theater that recreates the story of an ox being risen from the dead.
  • Brazil was the first country in South America to allow women to hold career ranks in the army.
  • Sao Paulo is the largest city in the Western Hemisphere with a total urban population of about 21 million. Brazil’s next largest urban area is Rio de Janeiro, with 12.9 million.