Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome.
Still, Pope Francis's visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation's main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.
Unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often takes the subway to work, some prominent politicians in Brazil have a far more impressive way of getting around: private helicopters and government planes.
Perhaps the most over-the-top example of the trend is that of Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral. A recent magazine expose showed that his commute to work is only about 6 miles.
Seu Jorge performs on stage during a 2005 festival in Rio.
Credit Lionel Bonaventure / Getty Images
The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.
In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, songwriter Sylvio Fraga performs two songs with his trio. There are underlying hints of samba in his performance, as well as a hefty dose of American songwriting. It makes sense that he would combine the two styles, given that he grew up in both Rio de Janeiro and New York City.
Fraga recently released his debut album Rosto, which he's made available for free download on his website.