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Old 07-26-2011, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
499 posts, read 1,536,925 times
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Am looking to establish myself to this area of Brasil in Fortaleza, Recife or Jeri Beach and am interested in perspectives on:
  • the economy there
  • quality of life/standards of living
  • the culture (community focus, interests, values)
  • too touristy vs. local life? (and where do majority of tourists seem to be from?)
  • the class divide (rich vs poor and their focus)
  • crime (home invasions, assults, muggings, murders, robberies, burglaries, gangs)
  • how urban these cities are (They seem too large for what my interests are)
  • access to goods/services (do I have to fly to SP or Miami to get a good deal on an appliance, office supplies or food items??) What about utilities?
  • government services (police, politics, issues, social justice)
I've been to Brasil many times, but not the north coast areas or the Amazon basin.

I mostly stay in Florida and speak several languages, but not Br. Portugese (which I can learn).

I love the coastal life, fish, warm people, gardening and simple honest living. I tend to avoid cultures/people competing in fads or tweeting the latest bowel movement.

Am mostly looking for local perspectives.

Last edited by daytonadewd; 07-26-2011 at 12:59 AM..
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:41 AM
 
6,349 posts, read 8,096,494 times
Reputation: 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonadewd View Post
Am looking to establish myself to this area of Brasil in Fortaleza, Recife or Jeri Beach and am interested in perspectives on:
  • the economy there
  • quality of life/standards of living
  • the culture (community focus, interests, values)
  • too touristy vs. local life? (and where do majority of tourists seem to be from?)
  • the class divide (rich vs poor and their focus)
  • crime (home invasions, assults, muggings, murders, robberies, burglaries, gangs)
  • how urban these cities are (They seem too large for what my interests are)
  • access to goods/services (do I have to fly to SP or Miami to get a good deal on an appliance, office supplies or food items??) What about utilities?
  • government services (police, politics, issues, social justice)
I've been to Brasil many times, but not the north coast areas or the Amazon basin.

I mostly stay in Florida and speak several languages, but not Br. Portugese (which I can learn).

I love the coastal life, fish, warm people, gardening and simple honest living. I tend to avoid cultures/people competing in fads or tweeting the latest bowel movement.

Am mostly looking for local perspectives.
I would recommend Fortaleza, although i have never been there. Some people find it boring.

I have been to Recife. It has tons of history, but is kinda grimy. The city is full of canals, but they are full of garbage and sewage. It also has extreme poverty and lots of people whacked out of their mind what I took to be glue. Recife has a big shark problem so you cant really swim in the beaches there. The beaches outside of Recife are great though.

To answer your question.

Recife has a terrible economy. It is one of the poorest areas of Brasil.
Recife has better culture. Has carnival too.
Both are touristy, but the tourist tend to be more Brazilian. Recife probably gets more international tourist especially Europeans. Also somewhat infamous for child sex tourism.
Clash divide is hard. Recife is overall pretty poor so it isnt that unequal compared to other Brasilian cities.
Crime Recife hands down. It is competing with Rio for danger.
Both are Big cities.

Im not bashing Recife, but you need to realize it has lots of problems. I have friends from there and plan on visiting them soon. It does have amazing culture.

You might want to consider Salvador.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
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Hello! I am from Fortaleza! Maybe I can help you...

First, about what cry_havoc said: "Recife has a terrible economy. It is one of the poorest areas of Brasil"... I don't know if he's talking about the city of Recife itself, or about Northeastern Brazil as a whole. But I have to make some important remarks: the city of Recife is very, very far from being one of the "poorest areas" of Brazil. The economy of Recife is growing VERY FAST, and so is the economy of the whole state of Pernambuco (the state whose capital city is Recife). Pernambuco is one of the fastest growing states in Brazil, in economic terms. It's even called "Brazilian China" by some people. Recife is a modern city, with lots of rich and upper middle class neighbourhoods.

But it's not only the state of Pernambuco that's growing fast. Most of the states of Northeastern Brazil are experiencing a great economic boom. The state of Ceará (whose capital city is Fortaleza), where I live, is no exception. Ceará is growing almost as fast as Pernambuco, and faster than Brazil's average growth.

Northeastern Brazil, once known for being a very poor region, is now improving fast its development level, and its standard of living.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:41 PM
 
6,349 posts, read 8,096,494 times
Reputation: 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post

Northeastern Brazil, once known for being a very poor region, is now improving fast its development level, and its standard of living.
All of Brazil is improving fast. Standard of living has increased by a lot over the last 10 years. I first went to Brasil in 2006 and didnt come back to 2009. In those 3 years I noticed a big difference.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonadewd View Post
Am looking to establish myself to this area of Brasil in Fortaleza, Recife or Jeri Beach

(...)

I love the coastal life, fish, warm people, gardening and simple honest living.
It's interesting that you cite Jeri beach....

Jeri is the local shortening for Jericoacoara. Jeri is a small fishing village turned into a touristic spot, located in the state of Ceará, some 250 kilometers from Fortaleza (the capital city of the state).

I visited Jeri many times, and I think it's the real paradise on Earth. A place of incredible natural beauty. I never saw nothing similar.

Jeri is a very tiny town, with no more than 3,000 permanent residents. But it's always packed with tourists. Jeri is artificially preserved as a "rustic" place, purposely, by the government, because it's part of the "charm" of the place. It's a "rustic chic" place.

There are no roads to get to Jeri. Purposely, the government keeps Jeri as an "isolated" village. Just for charm. The way people get to Jeri is by SUVs with 4WD, or by helicopters (yeah, there are a few helipads in Jeri!)

All the streets of Jeri are not paved (once again, purposely), the streets are covered only by clay and sand. But Jeri has lots of luxury hotels, and all sort of sophisticated services, from massage to cybercafés (internet in Jeri is totally functional).

Many residents of Jeri are still the native fishermen, but their homes are side by side with the homes of many foreigners (mostly European) who decided to live in that little paradise.

Many of the foreigners living in Jeri are owners of hotels, or "bed and breakfest" establishments, or restaurants.

If you choose to live in Jeri, you will have the chance to spend the rest of your life just fishing, gardening, and seeing the sunset on the ocean, from the famous "Sunset Dune" by the side of the village.

I think that maybe some day, when I'll be older, I will leave the intense urban life of Fortaleza, and retire in Jeri!
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
499 posts, read 1,536,925 times
Reputation: 490
Many thanks for these great posts!

I've already researched these areas and am aware of the changes happening there, hence starting this thread. I want to know more about local living there. What are the values, interests and focus of the different communities there? (business, cultural, youth, government, etc.)

Fortaleza sounds great, but also too urban. I've lived in big cities most of my life, but am now interested in simple pleasures over excitement. But would like access to stores and an airport when needed.

Are there any villages or suburbs with Main Streets that are nearby Fortaleza and offer regular train or bus service to the city center?

Also, what about my other questions for services, government.

Is the produce grown locally or is it brought in from other states in the country?
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
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Hi again.

I will try to explain more about Fortaleza, since I have lived in this city for almost my entire life.

Fortaleza is a big city, with intense urban life, surrounded by very beautiful nature. The city has many problems typical of any city in the developing world, but also has many strengths.

It's a modern city, with a very dense core packed with thousands of colorful residential highrises (ranging from 10 to 30 story), middle class condos and luxury condos.

The city has pockets of poverty, of course, but I would say it's not "pornographic misery". Most of the poor in Fortaleza live in regular, paved streets, and only a minority live in favelas. And even in the few favelas of the city (almost all in plain terrain, only one, Serviluz, is located in a hill) most houses are solid, with walls made of red bricks and covered with red tiles, and are served by piped water and electricity. It means you will not find cardboard slums in Fortaleza.

One interesting thing to say is that the "rich-poor divide" in Fortaleza is not as rigid as in some other cities in Brazil, like São Paulo, for example. The typical upper middle class resident of Fortaleza will never treat poor people with the same disdain and arrogancy that upper middle class people in São Paulo would do, for example. Humility was always a characteristic of the people of the state of Ceara, and it reflects in the upper classes, that absorved that cultural feature. Of course there are individual exceptions, but the typical upper middle class Fortalezense can easily be found drinking cachaça (the Brazilian sugarcane rum) at a humble bar after a soccer game of Ceará Sporting Club with his fellow fans of the team, most from lower classes, in a friendly way.

People in Fortaleza are very warm and welcoming. Outsiders (both foreigners and Brazilians from other states) are very well received.

People in this city love to party, and the city has one of the best nightlifes in Brazil. Thousands of bars, nightclubs, and the typical "forrós" (large walled areas, without a ceiling, in the outskirts of the city, where young people from all social classes gather to see shows of bands that play the forró - a rythm very popular in Northeastern Brazil).

I would easily say that, for the typical resident of Fortaleza, life is a party. It's a people with very good sense of humour (it's not a coincidence that the most well known comedians in Brazil are all from the state of Ceará). However, it doesn't mean this people is not hardworking. In fact, people from Ceará are one of the most hardworking people in Brazil. But the work takes a break at the weekend, and people party like crazy.

But if you don't like partying so much, don't worry. I'm also not a very much party-going guy, and I find lots of calmer leisure options in Fortaleza, like going to the cinema, or just spending the weekend in one of the dozens of calm and semi-deserted beaches in the area around the city.

Of course the city has many problems. Traffic can be chaotic in some areas during the workweek, with big traffic jams. Potholes are common in many streets (and one of the preferred local sports is scolding the mayor because of the potholes). Crime is also a problem, although at a much, much, much, much lower extent than in Rio de Janeiro. People have to take preventive measures to avoid being victim of crime, but usually you only need the normal good sense needed in any big city.

Overall, it's a nice place to live, and I love to live here, and I haven't any plans of going anywhere else!
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
Reputation: 1538
Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonadewd View Post

Are there any villages or suburbs with Main Streets that are nearby Fortaleza and offer regular train or bus service to the city center?
Answering this point: I think the ideal option for you is Cumbuco.

The city of Fortaleza could be "too urban" for you, and the village of Jeri could be "not enough urban" for you.

Cumbuco is an option. Cumbuco was originally a fishing village like Jeri. But is much closer to Fortaleza, only 30 kilometers from the city. And unlike Jeri, it's very well served by paved roads, and by a regular bus line.

The natural scenery in Cumbuco is exuberant too, altough not as exuberant as Jeri, but very very beautiful.

In recent years, Cumbuco became a kind of "kitesurfing mecca". Kitesurfers from all around the world come to Cumbuco for competitions or just training.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
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Daytonadewd, if you're seriously thinking about establishing yourself in Northeastern Brazil, my first advice for you is: learn as much Portuguese language as you can. It would be extremely helpful.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,544 posts, read 4,438,466 times
Reputation: 1538
Fortaleza was mentioned in the "World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012" of the International Living website, in this link:

The World


They say:

"In Brazil, expats with $2,150 a month can live a block from the country’s best beaches in Fortaleza"

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