Bronte in Brazil update
by Bronte Hogarth – 1MW International Correspondent
I don’t even know where to begin telling you everything I’ve been up to here in Brazil! I’ve been here five weeks – exploring, talking with other organisations, cooking, and visiting local places to write about.
Also, I’ve been preparing for a short trip to New York this September. I’m lucky to be attending the IWECI Summit (Sep 20-23) as 1 Million Women’s live blogger and tweeter. Natalie Isaacs, 1MW CEO & Founder, is a delegate at the summit and I will be there to cover all the action over the 3 days (SO EXCITED).
I’m still getting used to everything here, the language, food, culture and the ‘Brazilian way’ of life.
Believe me when I say, that the ‘Brazilian way’ of doing things or ‘Jeitinho Brasileiro’ is something you should fast get accustomed to. It’s an expression meaning to “find a way”, influencing any situations that might pop up in your daily life, from managing to get a seat or parking spot when all places are full, to legal matters where if a Brazilian wants something that’s not permitted, he or she will try to figure out a loophole until they find an alternative.
It means, that regardless of the rules or systems in place, where there is a will there is a way. This kind of mentality is not unique to Brazil, but here it takes unique proportions as people, institutions, companies, policies and even legislation we can see have been influenced by it.
I’ve already figured out you need a little tenacity to live here (which I believe I’ve inherited from my mum Natalie Isaacs, and if you’d ever seen her speak I’m sure you would agree).
In my perspective, ‘Jetinho Brasilero’ has equipped Brazilian culture with a mentality of how to carry on with life, how to survive. Although it implies the use of resources at hand, as well as personal connections, it also requires creativity. This is a very important side to their culture, the capacity to deal creatively with life’s complications. So if environment policies are being rejected, lets hope that ‘Jetinho Brasilero’ pulls through.
In all seriousness though, it gives me real hope for the sustainable development of Brazil, this survival mentality coupled with creativity to find new ways of doing things, and hopefully with less impact on the earth.
Already there are some great sustainable examples in Brazil, such as the city of Curitiba which:
- Has the highest recycling rate in the World – 70%.
- Curitiba has a bus system so good that car traffic has decreased by 30% while the population tripled in a twenty year period.
- Has built large numbers of beautiful parks to control floods rather than concrete canals. So many that they use sheep to cut the grass as it’s cheaper than lawnmowers.
- Curitiba is a city where 99% of it’s inhabitants want to live there. In comparison, 70% of Sao Paolo’s residents want to live in Curitiba.
- Curitiba’s average income per person has gone from less than the Brazilian average in the 1970’s to 66% greater than the Brazilian average.
Hopefully this is just a start for other cities in Brazil to undergo such sustainable transformations, which I’m sure the ‘Brazilian way’ will always have a part in.
Want to know some more facts? Here is another post I did that included some great environmental statistics on Brazil.
and I hope you have all been keeping up with the Brazilian inspired recipes on Foodie Weekender too. Try these ones out!
Keep up to date with all the adventures in Brazil. Follow me on twitter @brontehogarth.
Until next time, Ate logo!
We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au