Porto Alegre, Brazil
Porto Alegre: Vacations and travel info
This extensive area is the capital of the southern most state of Brazil, called Rio Grande do Sul. Its territory of evident fertile lands and abundance detonated a dispute between the Spanish and the Portuguese at the beginning of the 18th century.
This state, as well as the city of Porto Alegre, is surrounded by two nations that form a part of the Mercosur, an economic alliance that is made up of various countries that occupy the southern cone of the Americas. The two neighboring nations are Argentina and Uruguay, which makes Porto Alegre a fundamental logistic point because of the fact that it is, geographically speaking, the closest Brazilian capital to the two countries.
Porto Alegre is an eco-friendly, tourist city. It is also romantic, sports-oriented and "gaucha" (name of the indigenous group that lived in the area and are known for being cowboys) even though what truly makes the city stand out among the most visited of Brazil is that it is an important business-geared city. It has a river port that allows for the entrance of merchandise from the Atlantic Ocean and a commercial and industrial center, an important factor for the economy of the largest country of Latin America.
The Birth of Porto Alegre
Spain and Portugal had navigated to the west in search of riches and found in America not only the New World but much more than they ever expected. In the first half of the 1700s, both countries made their respective advances at conquest and had met in the land north of Rio de La Plata, right on the delta that the Rio Guaiba forms. The property right in front of this fertile prairie was claimed in the name of the Kingdom of Portugal, taking on as a first task the populating of the new territory. Soon thereafter, Portugal sent 60 couples from the Azores Islands to found what was to be called the "Porto dos Casais" (Port of the Married) in 1752. The name was in reference to the peculiar genesis that took place and would later change to become the fortunate city of Porto Alegre.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, this city converted little by little into a distinguished cultural metropolis as well as into a prosperous industrial center and an important business nucleus in Brazil. The generous nature of the Pampas offered ideal conditions for agriculture and livestock, providing for delicious dishes, such as steaks, and high quality leather goods, like shoes and other types of clothing. Since 1841, this continually growing Brazillian city has proudly borne the name "Leal y Valerosa Ciudad de Porto Alegre" (Loyal and Valiant City of Porto Alegre).
Dynamic and Educated Capital
The branches of the best universities in the south of Brazil, such as the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, can be found in Porto Alegre. Both are very prestigious and are among the main universities in the whole country. The high educational level of the people of Porto Alegre and the constant artistic activity in the many forums place this urban city as part of the cultural map of the country of "Ordem e Progresso" (national motto of Brazil which means "Order and Progress"), as well as in all of Latin America.
Porto Alegre is the Gaucha capital ("Gaucha" refers to residents of the South American Pampas, including those from Argentina, Uruguay, the southern region of Chile and Brazil as well as to a type of South American cowboy) of Brazil and remnants of the Gaucha culture are easy to spot. They can be found in theaters, restaurants and especially in the CTGs ("Centro de Tradiciones Gauchas", Center of Gaucha Tradition), located all around the city. This universe of customs goes from the colorful clothing, the singular and very energetic, folkloric dances to the daily consumption of "chimarrao" or "yerba mate" (a type of tea that is popular in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay), as well as a delicious "churrasco" (grilled meat typical of Brazil and Argentina), which is the basis of the cuisine of the region.
Sports and soccer are things that are close to the heart of the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. Two teams, Internacional and Gremio, have their stadiums here and have put Porto Alegre on the front page of the sports section of the 20th and 21st centuries. This will be no exception during the World Cup in 2014, which will be held in Brazil, since Porto Alegre will be one of the cities where the games of this soccer championship will be held.
In terms of the arts and sports, the cream of the crop of Porto Alegre can be found in two names that will surely be familiar to anyone, anywhere in the world: Elis Regina and Ronaldinho. She is one of the best voices that Brazil has given the world and he is a one of the most well-known soccer players in the world, who's so true to his roots that he likes being called "gaucho."
A Strategic Point for Mercosur
Porto Alegre is a city that produces, markets, imports and exports. Being one of the main participants of Mercosur, Porto Alegre is constantly chosen as a venue for important economic summit meetings, conferences, as well as national and international business meetings. It is for this reason that the city has a number of convention and eXpo centers and a wide range of services and lodging options of all categories.
The hotels of Porto Alegre are, without a doubt, capable of satisfying those who make the regular business trip to Brazil or those who wish to explore the natural beauty and the folkloric traditions of this city that is both beautiful and cutting edge.
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