Tag Archives: brazil

Bahia of All Colors

Upon arriving in Bahia, Brazil, you can immediately feel warmth in the climate and in the people, I spent 5 days in the Municipality of Monte Gordo / Camaçari near the touristy beach of Guarajuba.

In Bahia the music, food, religion and way of life are influenced by African culture. During the Atlantic Slave trade era more slaves were brought to brazil than any other country.

Here’s a selection of my favorite pictures to give you a colorful taste of life in Bahia.

Photos and story by Elba Lacerda

 

Carnival: The Heartbeat of Rio (Videos)

This year we went back to Rio de Janeiro to document the beautiful chaos of the world’s most marvelous city.

This series, Carnival: The Heartbeat of Rio, covers the alternative side of Carnival, featuring exclusive access to the Sambódromo and include interviews with dancers, journalist and the people who make carnival happen.

Introduction

Pedra do Sal and Porto Maravilha – Episode 1

In this episode we visit the cultural and historical monument of Pedra do Sal to enjoy the free samba and good vibes.  Then we explore how the area around it is changing due to the massive Porto Maravilha revitalization project.

Raquel’s Story – Episode 2

For Raquel, Carnival is about transforming pain into joy and washing Rio with love and consciousness.  Follow her as she prepares and performs at Boitatá.

Orqestra Voadora – Episode 3

Witness the the vibrant and trippy side of Rio’s Carnival at Bloco Orquestra Voadora.

Memories from Carnival (Pictures)

By Walker Dawson


I spent three weeks filming and conducting interviews for our upcoming documentary series on Carnaval.  We worked with Mayor Eduardo Paes’ international communications team in the Palácio da Cidade covering all aspects of Carnival, while focusing on what goes on behind the scenes. Here is a selection of my favorite shots.

In recent years there’s been lots of negative press concerning Rio and the upcoming olympics. The goal of this project is to document all the hard work and organization to show a side of Carnival that tourists and international press often overlook.


 

 

10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

From Lima to Rio: The Interoceanic Highway (Pictures)

I traveled for three days on a section of the Interoceanic Highway from the Pacific Coast of Peru to the Brazilian Amazon. The highway continues to São Paulo, Brazil, over 3,900 miles away. The highway spans three time zones, and is the first to cross the entire continent of South America. Many have called it one of the greatest construction projects in Latin America since the Panama Canal. Since its completion, the Interoceanic has raised Peru’s GDP by 1.5% a year. However, the highway has had many detrimental impacts on the local people and environments. The remote Peruvian Amazon was once five to seven days from Cusco Peru by truck. But now the trip takes less than 9 hours. Illegal gold mining and logging has increased exponentially in the last 5 years and residents of Puerto Maldonado, a dusty, frontier boom town, have expressed their concern about the benefits the highway promised to bring.

I asked Malena, a women who worked at the Tarapoto Hostel how the Interoceanic has changed the town. “It hasn’t brought more jobs, it’s actually taken them away,” she replied. “Miners and other people like that just come here, take everything away, and destroy the nature we have here,” Malena added. “The highway has also brought in a lot more delinquency and crime.”
The impact of the highway is being felt especially hard in the remote regions of the Amazon where 15 tribes have been displaced. The Interoceanic now runs through the heart of their homeland, bringing diseases, disrupting wildlife habitat, and ruining their sustainable lifestyle. The Amazon, one of the worlds great ecosystems, is still rich and plentiful, but for how much longer will it remain?

10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

Off the Beaten Path 2016

TOP 5 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH AMERICA FOR 2016

By Walker Dawson


While in no way a comprehensive list of the continent (Venezuela, Ecuador and the Guayanas are missing), these are our favorite off the beaten path destinations for 2015. Most of these destinations are a bit rough to say the least, but whoever is willing to forgo some basic comforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of great memories.


#5 La Rinconada, Peru

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Tin shacks cover La Rinconada.

La Rinconada is the highest inhabited place on planet earth. At a staggering 18,000 feet above sea level, this gold mining town shows how far people are willing to go in pursuit of money and the allure of wealth. The city of 60,000 sits perched on the edge of a cliff, with glacier covered peaks at a touching distance. You can walk with incredibly friendly locals, who will be more than happy to show you the gold they’ve extracted that day, and they may even invite you to their house to meet their family and have a cup of tea.

La Rinconada should come with a word of warning; this is rough travel. 18,000 feet above sea level is no joke and the piles of trash lining most streets will turn many people away. If you are willing to look beyond the trash and brave the extreme heights, La Rinconada may be one of the least visited and most fascinating places of this planet.


#4 Goiás, Brazil

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An old farmer in Ouro Verde de Goias.

 This is cowboy country, Brazilian style. Goiás is a giant state in the interior of the country and it is marked by an arid savanna like landscape, great colonial towns, incredible traditional Brazilian food, and quite possibly the friendliest locals in South America. Many travelers make it to Brasilia (which the state of Goiás surrounds), but those looking for another side of Brazil, one far from the hoards of tourists in Rio, should go to Goiás and get lost in this amazing land of red earth and cowboys.


#3 El Alto, Bolivia

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A Shaman closes shop in El Alto.

 El Alto, located high above the city of La Paz, is the largest indigenous city in the Western Hemesphere, as well as the highest city in the world (13,600 feet above sea level) with over a million people. The city is a chaotic place where massive open air markets flood into the already crowded streets, where one is met with curious stares and friendly smiles. You should come to El Alto if you are interested in indigenous South American culture; this is the modern day epicenter of it all. With the indigenous Evo Morales government, Aymara natives are rapidly beginning to embrace their indigenous roots which were for so many centuries suppressed by the Spanish and Mestizo elite. This cultural renaissance has transformed El Alto into a modern, 21st century indigenous metropolis.


#2 Paraguay

Getting wild after an incredible afternoon in the Chaco. Guns, beer, and nature.
Getting wild after an incredible afternoon in the Chaco. Guns, beer, and nature.

Paraguay is lost in a bygone era. It’s a flat, hot, landlocked country in the middle of South America, whose charms come less from cobblestoned streets and old churches, but more from its people and their hospitality. There may not be many sights to check off, but that doesn’t matter when you are warmly invited to a restaurant opening complete with a fantastic blues band, taken to photography exhibitions or hosted by a family for four days for free. Most travelers skip Paraguay completely, but that’s their loss. Let them have the hordes of tourists and high prices, I’ll take my Paraguay the way it is.


#1 São Paulo, Brazil

Barra Funda is an up and coming industrialized area northwest of downtown, characterized by art galleries and music venues of all types. This display was at Galeria Fortes Vilaça, which recently hosted an exhibition on the world famous São Paulo graffiti duo, Os Gemeos.
Check out an exhibition by the world famous São Paulo graffiti duo, Os Gemeos.

São Paulo is in the midst of a renaissance. Forget Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, this is where you need to come if you want to see a true South American metropolis. With 32 million people in the metro area, there is no denying that São Paulo is somewhat intimidating. Yes, its expensive, the public transportation is crowded, and it doesn’t win many points in the architecture department, but get beyond the initial shock, and you surely will begin to fall for its dynamic energy.

São Paulo is about diversity; it has the largest concentration of Japanese people outside of Japan, there are millions of Arabs and Italians inhabitants, as well as neighborhoods where orthodox Jews rub shoulders with recent Korean and Bolivian immigrants. São Paulo’s diversity is best experienced through the gastronomic boom that is currently happening in the city. Burritos, shawarmas, curries and sushi can all be found within 5 minutes of each other.

São Paulo also has an incredibly vibrant underground culture and some of the best nightlife in all of South America. Brazilians play Mexican mariachi, jazz, blues, reggae and rock, the alternative art scene pops up everywhere across the city, old alleyways are transformed into canvases for artists, old factories are becoming galleries, and museums are constantly highlighting local Paulista artists. After a day of feasting on delicious food from around the planet and enjoying alternative art, you can finish off the night in an underground bar, where people perform improv theater, a faint scent of weed lingers in the air, and locals sip on dark Brazilian microbrews. São Paulo is hot, and you’d be crazy to miss it.