Brazil is Rich with Culture and Natural Resources

by Keviante Hutchins, age 13

Brazil is a tropical country with a rich culture – and a lot of rain. Because the equator lies across the northern part of the country, Brazil has a hot climate. The temperature generally stays above 68 degrees. January is the wettest month, with nearly 11 inches of rain falling all across the country.

The Amazon River Basin, is home to a large area of rainforest. More than 40,000 species of plants, along with thousands of insects, birds, and animals live in the Amazon Rainforest. Unfortunately, widespread deforestation threatens the region’s plants and animals. Environmentalists attempt to restrict farming, logging, and mining, activities that require clearing the forest.

Brazil’s wealth comes from farming, industry, and mining. Coffee is Brazil’s largest export; Brazil provides one-fifth of the world's supply of coffee. The country also exports orange juice, soybeans, rice, sugarcane, and cotton. Other resources that are harvested in the forest include timber, nuts, rubber, and medicines. Valuable minerals, including iron, copper, gold and diamonds are also found in the country. In Brazil’s major cities, cars, aircraft, cement, and chemicals are produced. Almost all of Brazil’s power is hydroelectric, as a result of projects such as the Itaipu Dam on the Paraná River at the Paraguay border.

Twenty-seven states, each with its own government, make up Brazil. Brasilia is the capital. Brazil's economic position in the world has improved in the last 50 years, but at the price of its natural resources.

Three-fourths of Brazilians were originally from Europe, many from Portugal. Today at least one-third of the citizens are under 15 years old and the population is expected to double by 2050.

Brazil is a fascinating country to learn about, even on paper.

[Source: The Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia]