Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and the largest in South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the majority of most of the other South American countries. The coastal region in the east is where most Brazilians live. There are huge areas of rain forest in the north, which is mostly unpopulated.
For three hundred years Brazil was a Portuguese colony thus the population is predominantly of European descent. There are native Indians and some people of African descent. Brazil is a leading South American exporter, although it has many years of social problems.
The climate in Brazil varies between tropical in the north and temperate in the south of the country.
Education in Brazil is generally provided by private schools, which are very good in the major cities. International schools which follow the British or American systems are also very good.
Many expats purchase properties in Brazil for which an identity card (CPF) is needed. A trustworthy broker is advisable and he will conduct searches on the property and work in conjunction with the selling broker. The contract is then signed in the brokers office. Down payment is given which allows the property registration to be transferred to the expat.
There are many health risks in Brazil, including Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Cholera although the latter is relatively uncommon. Vaccinations should be obtained before entry to the country. Expats are advised to arrange health care insurance prior to moving to Brazil.
Before going to Brazil an International driving licence should be obtained. Vehicles drive on the right. Seat belts and child seats are compulsory. Third party insurance is paid along with the road tax. Car crime in Brazil is very common and doors should be locked at all times.
Military rule ended in 1985 and the civilian government has since begun rebuilding the economy and implementing programmes to tackle social issues. Brazil has many inequalities of income, it also has high levels of poverty and large numbers of the population live in urban slums. Crime and corruption is rampant and general pollution is predominant. For many years illegal deforestation has been a major problem.
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