Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than a half century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers.
Mostly tropical, but temperate in south
White 47.7%, mixed 43.1%, Black 7.6%, Asian 1.1%, Indigenous 0.4% (2010 est.)
Street markets (feira) are a popular feature in all areas of Brazil. They offer a wide selection of unique foods. Coxinha (ko-sheen-ya), a type of minced chicken [croquettes], is especially popular.
Feijoada — kidney or black beans stewed with beef and pork and sometimes vegetables
Industrial-led economic growth model; recovering from 2014-2016 recession when COVID-19 hit; industry limited by Amazon rainforest but increasing deforestation; new macroeconomic structural reforms; high income inequality; left UNASUR to join PROSUR