Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon are two captivating parts of Brazil. Some say that God created all the rest of the world in one day, so that he could spend the rest of the week on Rio. The Amazon is known as the "lungs of the world" and a sort of modern-day Noah's Ark for endangered wildlife. Both places are beautiful and both have significant problems as well -- Cidade de Deus and all of the literature on burning forests make this clear. But Brazil is a continent-sized country with many other places to know and visit.
One of those places is the state of Minas Gerais (meaning General Mines), which happens to be the home of many Brazilians who currently live near Boston. This New York Times travel essay The Other Brazil makes it clear that Minas has a lot to offer. Because Minas is also home to Brazil's nascent efforts at growing specialty coffee, it will be part of a study tour I am leading in July and August of 2010. Stay tuned or contact me if you are interested in details, which will be available on our Study Abroad web site as they become finalized.