On July 31, 2012, Vitor Mecedo who is a Brazilian Counselor this summer at the Magnolia YMCA, talked to the Rotary Club of Magnolia about both his country and his experiences in the United States.
Vitor Mecedo is a 24 year old from Brazil who is working for the summer at the Magnolia YMCA as a counselor. He explained that he had to learn the English language before coming to Magnolia from his home city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil which is within driving distance of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Vitor showed a tourist video of his city to the group and pointed out some of the distinct places in his city. In the short time he has been here, he has spent his weekends visiting San Antonio, Austin, and New Orleans as well as going on a raft trip.

Vitor is currently attending college in Brazil while working for the city government full time. He wants a career in economic development.

When asked about the differences he sees between our two cultures, he pointed out the following:
  • Our weight and measurements are much different than the metric system used in Brazil.
  • Air conditioning is much more prevalent in Texas then in Brazil.
  • Our weather is both colder and hotter. In Brazil, the coldest day he remembers is 55 degrees Fahrenheit; the warmest is between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In Brazil, there are no signs on a bridges which read "Watch for ice on bridge". He was surprised that we get freezing temperatures.
  • Voting is mandatory for every citizen 18 years or older.
  • In Brazil, you can both drink and drive legally at age 18 and no one asks for proof of your age in a bar.
  • Cars in Texas are much larger than they are in Brazil.
  • In Brazil, a man greets a lady with 3 kisses on each side of the face. This proved embarrassing for Vitor when he tried this in Magnolia.
  • In Brazil, everyone eats their meals around a table with family or friends. No one eats in a car or by themselves.
  • In Texas, Vitor found our outward show of Patriotism to be inspiring. In Brazil, no one does a pledge of allegiance to their flag before events.
When asked how he learned English so well, he said that he attended classes where he was forced to use the language. he also listens to American music and learns the words to our songs.

When asked about the economy in Brazil, Vitor explained that their economy is in good shape and does not seem to be bothered by the world economic problems.

Everyone thanked Vitor for his very interesting presentation.