Stories: Brazil

  • Meet Our Newest Fellows

    The International Reporting Project is awarding fellowships to report on different topics around the world. The following fellowships were awarded in late 2017 and early 2018.                           Religion Issues We congratulate the following journalists who were awarded fellowships in late 2017 and early 2018 to cover religion issues: Jessica Aguirre is...

  • A Trump-like politician in Brazil could snag the support of a powerful religious group: evangelicals

    SÃO PAULO — Corruption scandals that have landed several of Brazil’s leading politicians in prison have motivated voters to consider dark-horse candidates for next year’s presidential race. One of those, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, who likens himself to President Trump, could find support from a key group: evangelicals, who have become politically powerful in recent...

  • How the prosperity gospel is sparking a major change in the world’s most Catholic country

    SAO PAULO — Speaking from a stage encircled by 12 large wooden crosses, Gabriel Camargo held up wads of fake Brazilian money, showing his flock what could be theirs. “God will bless you if you give a lot more to the church,” said Camargo, a pastor with the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Then he extended an...

  • A Carnaval of Resistance

    In Rio, locals joke that Carnaval starts one day earlier every year. On a weekend in mid-January, a full month before the five-day event’s official kick-off on Feb. 24, hundreds of people wearing costumes and shimmery face-paint crammed into Flamengo Park to see performances by samba street bands known as blocos (“blocks”), the key element of Brazil...

  • Olympic Abandonment

    The behemoth sports stadiums on the sprawling grounds of Rio’s Olympic Park were built to impress international visitors for the 2016 Summer Games. Today, they are eerily deserted. The space re-opened as a public recreation area in January, but aside from the occasional security guard, there is hardly a human in sight at the 2.5 billion real ($800 million), 300-acre complex. ...

  • Rio street band drums up support for Carnival without harassment

    She didn't have a musical bone in her body, but that didn't stop Renata Rodrigues from starting a samba street band in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. When the 40-year old saw a viral Facebook post showing a man with a sign reading, "I don't deserve women who get around," she ironized the message by founding...

  • Rio hits the brakes on controversial favela cable car

    The black cables scarring the skyline of Complexo do Alemao stopped running months ago. For the residents of the favelas below, they're a constant reminder of how even one of Rio de Janeiro's most ostentatious projects built ahead of the 2016 Olympics has fallen victim to the financial crisis gripping the state. From the start, plans for the...

  • The Brazilian Guide to Weight Loss

    Bela Gil hosts one of Brazil’s most popular food TV shows, Bela Cozinha, now in its fifth season. The premise is putting a hip, healthy spin on Brazilian classics—think tofurkey, but not disgusting. In one episode, Gil baked cookies using the baru nut, which tastes a bit like peanuts and is crammed with...

  • This Abandoned Island Near Rio Could Be in Store for a Miraculous Comeback

    Ilha Seca is the closest island to Rio, but humans have barely touched it in the last half century, leaving it overgrown with weeds and dotted with crumbling buildings. Now it's newsworthy, thanks to the 2016 Olympics sailing competition, which will happen in the surrounding Guanabara Bay. The Bay has been making headlines for its...

  • Inside the Desolate Rio Neighborhood Being Bulldozed for the Olympics

    At first, you don't see it. Hidden near the gargantuan Athletes Village, the gleaming media center, and under-construction Olympic stadiums is a ramshackle set of homes. Before the city bulldozed most of the neighborhood, known as Vila Autodromo, there were about 700 families living here.  Vila Autodromo, located behind a former racetrack (...