São Paulo, Brazil – Immersion

Programs created for Individuals as well as for Organizations

Bem-vindo, Bem-vinda! – Welcome to Brazil!

Soccer, Carnival, and the Amazon Rainforest: these are three things people usually associate with Brazil. Despite being the host of the latest Olympics, the daily reality for many is harsh. Many face unemployment or underemployment, violence, precarious housing, and poor public health and education services in the current economic and political turmoil. Though a country of great wealth and resources, Brazil has one of the worst income distributions in the world.

São Paulo is one of the largest cities in the world. It is a city of contrasts. Populated by the fantastically wealthy, a large number of working poor, and a growing middle class, there are over 1 million people living in slums, public housing, or overcrowded tenements, and an estimated over 15,000 people living in the streets. While public education in the city fails to meet the needs of the young, basic healthcare is also lacking for much of the population. The level of urban violence remains high and the public transportation system is inadequate for the population. At the same time, São Paulo boasts a diverse immigrant population, vibrant arts scene, and a bustling nightlife.

Experiential Education:

The focus of the trip is meeting and getting to know Brazilians and learning about their culture, faith, and history. The experience will showcase the ministries of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Brazil. Our ministries focus on Immigrants and Refugees, Restorative Justice, Prison Ministry, Youth Outreach, and Theater of the Oppressed.

Requirements for any trip to Brazil:

In order to have a great time please consider these guidelines:

  1. Doing the visits to the different ministries and enjoying tourist sites requires ability to walk, unassisted, up to 45 minutes without stopping and ability to remain standing for up to 30 minutes.
  2. Ability to climb up and down stairs – getting in and out of transportation, accommodation sites, and from airplanes without walkways, while carrying a backpack for the day. Being able to carry your own luggage is also a necessity.
  3. Ability and openness to eat a variety of foods; vegetarian diets can be handled.
  4. Ability to not be severely impacted by high level of air pollution, dust and noise associated with life in a big metropolis such as São Paulo.
  5. Ability to be out for the entire day without time to rest in your accommodation
  6. Willingness to be different; due to physical traits such as skin complexion, language, clothing and other individual characteristics.

We look forward to welcoming you to Brazil!