SESC and the City

Created in 1946, SESC is a private nonprofit organization whose role – to improve workers’ lives via access to education, culture, health, and recreation – is included in the Brazilian constitution and whose funding is assured by a 1.5 percent payroll tax imposed on Brazilian companies.

The twin spires of a neo-gothic church rise up into the sky amidst other less dramatic buildings.

What to See in São Paulo’s Centro District

São Paulo has undergone immense transformations since its foundation in 1554. However, hidden away in its original downtown core are a few interesting vestiges of the city’s colonial past, which are all the more striking for being hemmed in by a forest of skyscrapers.

Small peninsula with white beaches

Sun, Sand, and Seclusion in São Paulo

Visitors to São Paulo who pity the fact that its residents are landlocked in a seemingly never-ending urban jungle shouldn’t feel too sorry for them. After all, within a couple of hours by car (a couple more by bus) Paulistanos can easily access some of the most beautiful beaches on the entire Brazilian coastline, in which mountains and exuberant Mata Atlântica collide spectacularly with emerald green coves and bays lined with sugary sands.

The pool at the Toque Toque Boutique Hotel

Escape to Toque Toque (São Paulo)

One of the most interesting aspects of traveling around and researching a travel guide is the stories one comes across of people who unexpectedly, and sometimes radically, abandon “conventional” lives in search of alternative ones.

Man on street carrying sack

To Give… Or Not to Give… (Is that the Question?)

“To give or not to give,” is a perplexing question. When I first arrived in Bahia, I was in a quandary as to how to respond to beggars. I took cues from my friends who with seeming nonchalance, in a bantering or mildly irritated manner blew such people off.

Campos do Jordao - A town with faux-Alpine architecture

Campos do Jordão: Brazil’s Switzerland

One of Paulistanos’ favorite getaways from the big city is Campos do Jordão (literal translation: Fields of Jordan). Only 2 hours away from São Paulo by car (3 hours by bus if you happen not to own a car – which is not the case of most people who frequent “Campos”), it’s often billed as Brazil’s Switzerland.