More about Brazil

As you already know Ken and Lori work primarily in Mossoró, Brazil. MapQuest produces this map of the area

This is World Travel Guides' map of the entire country

Here is some more information about Brazil.

AREA: 8,511,996 sq km (3,286,500 sq miles).

POPULATION: 160 million.


CAPITAL: Brasília. Population: 2.5 million.

GEOGRAPHY: Brazil covers almost half of South American and is bordered by all South American countries except Chile and Ecuador; to the east is the Atlantic. Brazil is flat, at no point exceeding 3000m (10,000ft). Over 60% of the country is a plateau; the remainder consists of plains. The River Plate Basin (the confluence of the Parana and Uruguay rivers, both of which have their sources in Brazil) in the far south is more varied, higher and less heavily forested. North of the Amazon are the Guiana Highlands, partly forested, partly stony desert. The Brazilian Highlands of the interior, between the Amazon and the rivers of the south, form a vast tableland, the Mato Grosso, from which rise mountains in the southwest that form a steep protective barrier from the coast called the Great Escarpment, breached by deeply cut river beds. The population is concentrated in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Parana. Sao Paulo has a population of over 12 million, while over 8 million people live in Rio de Janeiro.

LANGUAGE: The official language is Portuguese. Learning English is the dream of the average Brazilian; this opens many opportunities for missionaries.

RELIGION: Aproximately 80% Roman Catholic.

TIME: Brazil spans several time zones: Mossoro is one hour ahead of the Eastern Standard Time Zone in the USA. We do not have daylight savings time, but south Brazil does since the varience of day length is much greater there.

ELECTRICITY: Mossoro uses 220 volts AC; transformers are coupled with all of our tools and appliances purchased in the USA.

COMMUNICATIONS: Telephone: The telecommunications systems are state-owned. Touch tone systems have recently been installed in Mossoro making phone and internet services more efficient. To Call the Stuckys, dial 011-5584-312-1012

SNAIL MAIL: services are reasonably reliable, however it often takes 10 to 20 days to receive air mail letters from the USA. For this reason we have shifted predominantely to Electronic Mail services. It costs over 1$ to mail a letter from Mossoro to the States.

HISTORY: Brazil was first discovered by the Portuguese Admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral in 1500. The country was colonized later that century. Until the arrival of Jesuit missionaries, plantation owners freely exploited the local inhabitants as slaves. Brazil achieved independence in
1822 with Don Pedro as Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender. The country was declared a republic when Don Pedro was dethroned in 1889, after which it was placed under military rule. Since that date, military leaders have played an influential role in the politics of Brazil. From 1964-85 Brazil was under military rule. Pressure for a return to civilian rule gathered momentum during the early 1980s, particularly after the military ceded power in neighbouring Argentina in 1983. The army consented and at the election held in January 1985, Tancredo Neves, a former prime minister and latterly a state governor, became Brazil's first civilian President for 21 years. Neves was the candidate of a liberal alliance formed around the country's main opposition party at the time, the Partido do Movimento Democratico Brasileiro (PMDB), but which also included dissidents from the then ruling (and now opposition) Partido Democratico Social. Neves died before he was able to take office and was replaced by the deputy president-designate, Jose Sarney. Initial pessimism about the prospects for this little-known and rather colourless figure was shown to be ill-founded as Sarney successfully guided the country through the tricky period of transition between military and civilian rule which many South American countries are now negotiating. A new democratic constitution was drafted and implemented, although economic problems persisted. The end of military rule also allowed opportunity for a major public debate, which has attracted intense international interest, about the future of Brazil's rain forest. The destruction of vast areas of rain forest by loggers and ranchers caused increasing worry among scientists about the environmental effects. It was appropriate, therefore, that in June 1992 Rio de Janeiro should host the first global summit on environmental issues - the `Earth Summit'. The outcome of the fortnight-long event, which produced two heavily diluted resolutions, was broadly disappointing. There is a widespread feeling that the industrialised north does not take the issue sufficiently seriously while the developing south resents taking measures which may hinder their economic growth before they have benefited from that growth. 1992 also saw a domestic political crisis with the resignation of the president of three years, the conservative Fernando Collor de Mello representing the Partido de Reconstrucao Nacional. His opponent at the 1989 poll was the trades unionist Luis Inacio da Silva (known as Lula), standing for the Workers' Party. Collor de Mello will be principally remembered for his extraordinary economic experiment which involved the instant freezing and sequestration of personal and corporate bank deposits for an 18-month period. The country was almost too stunned to react, although other measures gave rise to serious labour unrest. Collor de Mello's term of office ended ignominiously in October 1992 when a congressional investigation confirmed allegations of massive corruption on the part of the president and his family. Vice-president Itamar Franco assumed the presidency until the next elections were held in October 1994. These were won by a former Economy Minister, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, as the candidate of the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, formed in 1990 by PMDB dissidents. Cardoso has managed to stabalize Brazilian economy but has yet to tackle the country's sclerotic political system and the huge inequalities that disfigure Brazilian society.

GOVERNMENT: Legislative power rests with the bicameral Congresso Nacional. The lower house is elected by proportional representation for four years; members of the Senate serve 8-year terms. The President, who holds executive power and is elected every four years, appoints and leads a cabinet of ministers.