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Espirito Santo, Brazil Is a Federal Republic

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Espirito Santo, Brazil


Brazil is a Federal Republic and consists of three branches: judicial, legislative, and executive. The president of the Republic is Chief of State and Chief of Government. The current president is Mr. Luis Inacio Lula de Silva, from the Workers Party.

The Legislative branch is made up of two houses: the Senate and the Chamber of duties.

The Senate

The Senators represent each of the Brazilian States. Regardless of population, area, wealth or any other factor, each State elects three Senators.

The Chamber of Deputies

Federal Deputies represents the people. The number of Deputies is relative to the population of each state.

Mr. Paulo Hartung was elected Governor of Espirito Santo in 2003 and remains in office until 2011.

The State

The people of Espirito Santo speak Portuguese yet the diversity of people is abundant; Espirito Santo was colonized in 1535 by the Portuguese and subsequently descendants of African slaves brought by the Portuguese (Advameg, 2010). Austrians, Swiss, Italians, Pols, Germans, and Lebanese came to Espirito Santo in search of new opportunities as well. Espirito Santo means 'Holy Spirit' in Portuguese. The people born in the state are called capixaba, which means 'corn hair'. The European settlers had lighter colored hair than the Amerindians so the Amerindians nicknamed the settlers 'corn hair' (Advameg, 2010). I had to look up Amerindian because I was unsure of the meaning; according to dictionary.com, Amerindian means: any member of the peoples living in North or South America before the Europeans arrived.

The capital of Espirito Santo is Vitoria; a very busy city with a new, modern airport. 40% of the state stretches along the North Atlantic coastline. Espirito Santo is made up of lowlands, waterfalls, beaches, cloud forests, tropical forests, lakes, and rivers (Advameg, 2010).

Espirito Santo's largest practiced religion is Catholicism. Other religions practiced in Espirito Santo are Candomble is the best known and most traditional of African derived religions, Umbanda emabraces all three of the nation's cultural traditions: African, European, and Indian, Spiritism, and Pentecostal (Advameg, 2010).


As previously stated, the diversity within Espirito Santo is plentiful. The architecture through the state is a beautiful display of the many different cultures and diversity. Also, the music, art, and dance that is presented at different times of the year, the traditions and festivals, exhibit the cultural differences throughout the state. I find it interesting that discrimination has more to do with social class instead of race in Espirito Santo; a poor person's future looks much worse than a person of color.

Family Structure- Civil and religious marriage exists in Brazil but the number of religious marriages is on the decline especially in urban areas. The poor continue to live and are less likely to legalize their unions than those of higher social status. A typical household in Espirito Santo might consist of parents and children; Brazilian culture puts importance on extended family ties and Brazilians, regardless of social class, do not like to live any distance from their kin. Grown sons and daughters will remain at home until they marry and live near their parents after marriage. Among the urban middle class it is not uncommon for members of an extended family to live in separate apartments in the same building. The closeness amongst the families really surprised me. I am not sure why exactly, I wonder if because I do not have a close relationship with my extended family is the reason. I was not raised with my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) so those who were, are rare to me. I have a hard time understanding that relationship.

Rice and beans is the staple of most capixaba's diets and are eaten by most social classes. If meat, poultry or fish are added, it is a measure of money. Traditionally the most important meal of the day is a multi course midday meal. For middle-class and elite families it might consist of a pasta dish or a meat or fish course accompanied by rice, beans, and a sweet dessert or fruit followed by tiny cups of strong Brazilian coffee; for the poor it would be primarily rice and beans (Advameg, 2010).

Education: In 2006, Brazil ranked 49th out of 56, in the world, for education (AngloINFO, 2010). Most elementary schools are maintained either by cities, towns, or state. Each state is required to apply at least 25% of their budget on education; this generates a problem, richer States and richer cities have more money to invest and obtain a better education ,with better paid teachers and better transportation, whereas in the poorer cities and States the education will be generally of lower standards. When the state invests little in education, the standards of public education fall; middle class parents move their children to private schools and stop caring about public education; the State invested even less in education; the standards fell even more. This seems like a common theme; the poorer states in the United States have poorer quality school, little supplies, maybe no heat/air conditioning, little bus transportation, no hope...and the states with more money are more middle class and value an education and the possibilities an education can bring so the schools are better maintained, bus transportation, clubs and athletics, utilities, lunch programs...

Education in Espirto Santo is as such:

o Preschool and kindergarten are not mandatory.

o The first 'step' of education is the fundamental education. This is mandatory and takes 8 years. The fundamental education reminded me of our elementary and middle school put together, K-8. When I found the information about a problem that educators face in Espirito Santo is parents; parents who cannot afford to send their kids to school and parents who do not send their kids to school because they need them to go out and work, I was devastated. Looking through my rose-colored glasses, I would like to think that education would



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