Introduction to Brazil with Dr. Javier Escudero - Context Travel

Introduction to Brazil with Dr. Javier Escudero


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Join an expert on a fascinating journey through some of the most famous regions, cities, and sites of Brazil. We’ll explore Brazilian culture through food, festivities, dances, and peoples.

We will start in Manaus, at the Amazon River, and learn about the history and traditions of Brazilian indigenous people. We’ll learn about their cultures and the challenges they face today. We will also learn about the region through the stories of some adventurers who explored the vast rainforest.

Afterward, we will travel to the island of Fernando de Noronha, the most desirable destination today for Brazilians, to discover this breathtaking natural environment and also learn about the capoeira practitioners who spent years imprisoned there. To understand the origin of capoeira, we move to Salvador, in Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, where the sugar industry mobilized hundreds of enslaved Africans who have left a permanent imprint on the Brazilian economy and society, as well as on its cuisine, music, dance, art, and religion.

Then, in Praia do Forte, we will visit the first colonial fort built in the Americas, an excellent place to understand Portuguese colonization. In Cachoeira, the cradle of Brazilian samba, we learn about the oldest sisterhood formed by black women in the Americas and its main Syncretic festival.

With the joyful rhythms of samba, our journey takes us into Rio de Janeiro… its passion for soccer, for the beach, and for its magnificent carnival, that year after year expresses the creativity of Brazilian people constructing its identity through performance. After a brief stop in Sao Paulo, to learn about the contributions of Italian, Japanese and Lebanese immigrants to Brazilian culture, we end our journey visiting Iguaçú waterfalls and the region of the Jesuits missions in Brazil.

Led by an expert on Brazilian culture, Javier Escudero, this interactive seminar will explore the vast country that is Brazil. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the rich and varied history of Brazil.

Javier has a Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American Literature. He has published books on Juan Goytisolo, Américo Castro, and Rosa Montero, as well as many articles in academic journals and newspapers on Spanish and Latin American literature, culture, and film. Javier was appointed Spain’s Consul of Education and Director of the Instituto Cervantes in Rio de Janeiro between 2001 and 2003. He has directed several university study abroad programs in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil and has worked as a guest lecturer for Semester at Sea and as a study leader for Smithsonian Journeys. Currently, he is preparing a new book, Through the Lens of Pierre Verger: Photographs of a Multicultural United States, 1934 & 1937. 

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

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L.L.
Many wonderful glimpses of Brazil, abundantly illustrated!

Javier was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Brazil, and was certainly able to speak about both historical occurrences and modern life. He used various types of illustrations abundantly -- drawings, diagrams, maps, photographs, some of which he had taken himself. We visited various diverse places in the country. My only suggestion would be perhaps to start with just a few minutes of more general history -- Brazil before the arrival of Europeans, where did the Portuguese and any others arrive and first develop communities, something more about these earliest years, before starting to move around this huge country.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
100%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L.L.
Many wonderful glimpses of Brazil, abundantly illustrated!

Javier was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Brazil, and was certainly able to speak about both historical occurrences and modern life. He used various types of illustrations abundantly -- drawings, diagrams, maps, photographs, some of which he had taken himself. We visited various diverse places in the country. My only suggestion would be perhaps to start with just a few minutes of more general history -- Brazil before the arrival of Europeans, where did the Portuguese and any others arrive and first develop communities, something more about these earliest years, before starting to move around this huge country.