Brazil's Environment


When you mention Brazil, its environment might be the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe you imagine the famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps the Amazon rainforest? There are beautiful, rugged mountains in the state of Minas Gerais, where I have been living this year. My, city, Belo Horizonte, even gets its name "beautiful horizon" from the wonderful landscape that surrounds the city!

What makes this environment special or different?:

When Portuguese colonizers came to Brazil, Minas Gerais was their first stop. They quickly learned that the mountains here were full of gold and gemstones.They forced enslaved people to mine for these resources in Minas Gerais and then moved on to colonize the rest of the country. Because of its  pioneer history, Minas Gerais is sometimes called "the Gateway to Brazil." Today, people no longer mine for gold or gemstones, here, but they still mine for other elements. Minas Gerais is also famous for being home to some of the biggest water sources outside of the Amazon rainforest. This means there are lots of rivers and waterfalls to see!

What parts of this environment help people to live here?:

The hilly geography combined with the abundant water sources make Minas Gerais an excellent place to grow different foods--including my favorites, coffee and chocolate!