April 22, 2017

DjangoGirls is a non-profit organization and a community that empowers and helps women to organize free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources and support. We are a volunteer run organization with hundreds of people contributing to bring more amazing women into the world of technology. We are making technology more approachable by creating resources designed with empathy.

There are DjangoGirls events run in cities all over the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town. We are the organisers of the Oxford group. The name comes from a popular website programming tool called Django, which is written for the Python programming language. Both Django and Python are Open Source (i.e. free for everyone). DjangoGirls also provide all the promotional resources ...


Update April 2017: I wrote this post several years ago. It distills my experience of living in Rio for 2 years, in different houses and different parts of the city. With the Olympics having taken place since I wrote this, it is likely that lots of new urban infrastructure has been developed, so this post might be out of date.

Accommodation in Rio

Renting accommodation in Rio can be chore, just as in any city. There are 2 broad categories of tenants – those looking for long term rental, and those looking for short term rental. Depending on which category you fall into, there are two different strategies. I have only ever been looking for short term accommodation, and unless you are ...


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday 6th July 1922, the Republican government of Brazil had heard the army was on the verge of revolt, and pre-emptively shut several army bases. One army base, Forte de Copacabana, remained in the hands of the revolutionaries, and the government told the men surrender or die.

After letting the enlisted men leave, the remaining eighteen Lieutenants, each carrying a piece of the Brazilian flag, left their stronghold at the Copacabana Fort, and marched towards Catete Palace.

They were intent on making their demands for social and political reform heard by the Executive Power, at any cost. Blocking their path were 3,000 Republican troops. By the end of the day, only two Lieutenants were left standing.

The ...


Oct. 12, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For most Cariocas, beer is synonymous with chopp, the ice-cold pale lager served all over Rio, usually from Brahma. Undoubtedly, when the heat rises, a few glasses of chopp are the perfect way to cool down.

Temperature is critical to a good glassful, and the 200-300ml servings are usually small enough to allow the beer to stay cold to the last drop. In fact, chopp is thought to be derived from schopp, which is a German word used to describe a 300ml serving of beer.

Chopp is a top-fermented pilsner-style lager, traditionally left unpasteurized. This process retains more of the flavor, but shortens the shelf life of the beer. The recipe for modern chope (as it is ...


RIO DE JANEIRO – Whether you are backpacking on a budget or seeking the perfect pousada, or guesthouse, at any price, the Cidade Maravilhosa has a lot to offer. The sheer number of options available can be confusing, but here are five of the best foreign-run locations across the city where the prospect of an English voice to welcome you might help make the difference to your trip.

Guarded by two magnificent old mango trees, the huge colonial mansion of Casa MangoMango has twelve rooms, a separate dormitory and a self-contained chalet. Most of the rooms feature double beds, en suite bathrooms and original, unique furniture, designed around specific themes such as ‘Brazilian music’ or ‘Afro Brazil’.

The pousada is also located ...


RIO DE JANEIRO – On June 18th the Porto Maravilha (Wonderful Port) project took a step nearer completion, as the city council sanctioned a bill introducing tax relief on municipal developments in the port district. The move was the latest in a series of bills aimed at clearing the way for the major urban regeneration plan, expected to be finished in time for the 2016 Olympics.

The project aims to redevelop large areas of the port district for residential and commercial purpose, including the landmark Pier Mauá, which will become the focal point of a major new leisure complex.

The plan encompasses the Santo Cristo, Gamboa and Saúde neighborhoods, as well as parts of São Cristóvão, Centro and Cidade Nova. Historically, these ...


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Close to the international airport, a few kilometers outside the center of Rio, lies a large landfill known as Jardim Gramacho. Since 1978, this patch of shoreline has been the final destination for much of Rio’s garbage, but perhaps not for much longer.

Several years ago, COMLURB (Companhia Municipal de Limpeza Urbana) – the authority in charge of the site – noticed large cracks appearing in the land around the dump, a sign that the landfill’s capacity was being exceeded and that garbage could escape into the bay. Already, liquid waste had been leaking from the site into the bay, but the prospect of a catastrophic failure in the main landfill finally convinced authorities that a ...


RIO DE JANEIRO – Driving along Avenida das Américas in Barra da Tijuca, it is hard not to notice two lone, circular towers among the square apartment blocks and sprawling shopping malls. Located just opposite the ‘Hipermercado Extra’, one of the Oscar Niemeyer-designed apartment buildings sits happily occupied while its brother, Torre Abraham Lincoln, has remained empty and unfinished since construction was halted in 1972.

The tower has become not only a monument to the early days of urban development in Barra but also offers a salutary lesson in the power of the Brazilian bureaucracy to frustrate enterprise.

The two buildings were intended to be the first in a series of 76 individual towers, conceived as the centerpiece of Lucio Costa’s modernist ...