Join us as we explore the fascinating country of Brazil! Using music to illustrate key historical and cultural points, we’ll fast-track from the 1940s with the song “Brazil” from a Disney film, to Carmen Miranda, who introduced samba to the U.S. in a fruit-salad hat, through the ’60s bossa nova jazz craze, to today’s influential stars. Brazil has a culture markedly different from that of the Spanish-speaking world. We’ll smash the samba-soccer-carnival stereotypes and also take an entertaining journey through Brazil’s other Greatest Hits – its ebullient friendliness, iconic characters, luscious cuisines, surprising heritages, unusual-sounding language, and unparalleled natural treasures!
Although American-born, Rachelle has been enchanted with Brazil since a teenager, when she met her first-generation Brazilian cousins in Rio. Convinced she’d spend the rest of her life there, she came home to get a BA in Portuguese and immersed herself in the country’s music and dance. But it was forty years before she visited again to live her Brazil bucket list: She paraded in the Rio Carnaval, danced on the street in Salvador, hung out with locals in rural Pantanal, and trekked the Amazon jungle. She left a career in advertising to teach English to foreigners at an institute which soon hired her as their recruiter for Brazil, traveling and doing business there for ten years. Since 2010 she’s taught English to Brazilian teens in Orlando, where she met and finally married a Brazilian.