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Brazil (officially called Federative Republic of Brazil ), the is the most populous and largest country in South America. This is the fifth largest in the world in area and population. It is the easternmosr country of America and borders every other south America country with a vast area of South America dn the Atlantic Ocean. This country was colonize by Portugal and it is only country that speaks Portugeuese-speaking in the Americas. It has the largest Roman Catholid population it the world. It is the multiracial country composed of European, Amerindian, African and Asian people.
The country consist of twenty-six states and one federal district, in the over all total of 27 "federate units". The state of Brazilian enjoys a significatn autonomy of the government, law making, public security and taxation. The government of a state is headed by a Governor, in where elected by popularity vote, and comprises its own legislative body. Every state is divided into municipalities or municípios with their own legislative council and a mayor, which are autonomous and hierarchically independent from both federal and state government. A municipality may include other towns besides the municipal seat; those, however, have no separate government. The judiciary is organised at the state and federal levels within districts called comarcas. One comarca may include several municipalities.
The Brazilian Constitution guarantees absolute freedom of religion. Brazil have ceased an official religion with the proclamation of the Republic in 1889. 70 percent of the population in Brazil declared themselves to be Roman Catholic in nearly 1994. Recently Protestant groups in Brazil have been growing in number. Now there are sizeable independent Pentecostal churches members.
Average Annual Temperatures
More than 60 percent of the population in Brazil live in areas where altitude, sea winds, or cold polar fronts moderate the temperature, alhough 90 percent of the country is within the tropical zone. Brazil is compose of five climatic regions namely equatorial, tropical, semi arid, highland tropical, and subtropical. The cities of Plateau such as São Paulo, Brasília, and Belo Horizonte have very mild climates averaging 66°F. Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador on the coast have warm climates balanced by the constancy of the Trade Winds. In the southern part of Brazilian cities of Curitiba and Porto Alegre, the subtropical climate is similar to the U.S.and Europe.
In mount Amazon River situated near the city of Belem is the most intense rainfall and in the vast upper regions of Amazonia in where more than 80 inches of rains falls annually. São Paulo also have heavy rainfall. The rest of Brazilian cities, however has a moderate rainfall between 40 to 60 inches per annum, with most of the rain falling between December and April which is summer. The driest part of the country is the northeast, the so called "polygon of drought", encompassing 10 percent of the country's territory.
Banks are open 10am - 4pm., Monday through Friday in most of the country. Most malls are open from Monday to Saturday, 10am-10pm. Some malls in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are open on Sundays, from noon to 8pm. Most stores in Brazil are open 9am-6:30pm. on weekdays, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays
The Brazilian currency is the Real ("hay-ahl"), and Reais ("hay-ice") for the plural. The symbol for the Real is R$.
Bank notes in circulation are the following:
U.S dollars are easily exchanged at hotels, banks, travel agencies and currency exchange offices. Generally, the exchange rate for traveler's checks is lower than for cash. Credit cards are widely accepted in large cities in Brazil, however, if you are traveling to smaller towns, it is advisable to exchange some money before your trip. Most Brazilian banks offer ATMs, however some foreign cards may not be accepted.
The airport departure tax in Brazil is currently $36.00 USD. It can be paid in US dollars or the equivalent in local currency.(Real)
Brazilians tend to dress casually outside workplace. Most restaurants do not require a tie or sport jacket, however, a few fancy clubs and restaurants do. If you plan to travel to São Paulo, you will encounter a cosmopolitan city, where fashion matters.
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