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Travel Tips to Stay Safe in Rocky Point, Mexico Thumbnail

Travel Tips to Stay Safe in Rocky Point, Mexico

Hola Amigo,

Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), Mexico, is a popular beach destination.  It is about a 3 hour drive from the border of Arizona and the beaches are nice and you have many options between hotels, condos, rental homes and camp grounds.  Like any busy travel destination, you need to take precautions to minimize a chance of bigger problems and risks. Read More »

Updated US State Dept Travel Warning for Brazil Thumbnail

Updated US State Dept Travel Warning for Brazil

This message is to update US citizens about security concerns in Salvador, Bahia and surrounding areas stemming from a state-wide work stoppage by the Military Police in the State of Bahia. Brazilian national security forces were deployed into Salvador on the morning of Friday, February 3. Nevertheless, the homicide rate in Salvador reportedly has risen significantly during the past week. In addition, there have been reports of significant increases in the rates of property crimes, including lootings and car thefts. All private schools in Salvador were closed on Monday, February 6. Public schools remained open, but report very low attendance. Read More »

Featured Country: Brazil Thumbnail

Featured Country: Brazil

Brazil will host the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. The country has launched many large-scale infrastructure projects for these events that offer lucrative business opportunities for foreign companies. Take a look at the US Commercial Service’s special web pages that list opportunities related to these events.

According to the FITA, The Brazilian Ministry of Commerce recently announced that the country had a trade surplus of around 30 billion USD in 2011, an increase of 47.8% over 2010. Exports of goods increased by 26.8% to USD 256 billion, while imports rose 25.7% to USD 226 billion. It is the largest trade surplus since 2007.

In 2011 Brazil became the sixth global economy in terms of GDP, ranking ahead of countries like the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada and Spain. The country has particularly benefited in recent years from strong global demand for soybeans and iron ore, which are among its leading exports. In addition, the Brazilian government has implemented tax incentives to promote exports.

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How They Celebrate Christmas in Chile Thumbnail

How They Celebrate Christmas in Chile

An expat living in Santiago, Chile wrote a very interesting post over Expat Exchange. Chile is south of the equator so Christmas is right in the middle of summer and end of the school year. Traditional US festivities, baking cookies and decorations are not the norm. The focus of Christmas in Chile is mostly religious. As the Expat Exchange post explains:

The main attraction in the home is the creche or “pesebre” with the baby Jesus missing from the manger until midnight Christmas Eve. Families will have holiday meals. Frozen turkey is beginning to become popular, but given it’s summer many choose cold plates of meat, or asados/barbeques. The holiday drink is cola de mono, made with aguardiente, sugar, milk, coffee and spiced with cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. As midnight arrives the families may attend midnight mass. When they return the baby Jesus is placed in his spot and the presents are ripped opened.

Bathing suits are more popular than scarves, gloves and coats and water skiing is more popular than snow skiing as families head to the beach to try and cool off.

Read more about Christmas in Chile at

Have a Merry Christmas!