Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Belo Horizonte, a Portuguese name meaning "beautiful horizon", is the third largest metropolitan area and fifth largest city in Brazil; capital of Minas Gerais state, Belo Horizonte is a place of intense economical and cultural activity. It has a great infrastructure for national and international events. The country annually receives great amounts of visitors, as it is in the Brazilian main economic axis with regional influence even on regions of other states. Both multinational and Brazilian companies maintain their headquarters in the city. The city is nowadays renowned for the contrast between contemporary and classical buildings, being in fact the location of many modern Brazilian architectural icons, most notably the Pampulha Church. Annually, the city hosts the FIT BH, The International Theater Festival of Belo Horizonte, which attracts artists from all over Brazil and many parts of the world.
Belo Horizonte had never been a popular destination among tourists, as it lacks one of the main touristic features of Brazil - beaches. However, it annually receives great amounts of visitors, as it is in the Brazilian main economic axis with regional influence even on regions of other states. Both multinational and Brazilian companies, like Google and Oi, maintain their headquarters in the city.
The service sector plays a very important role in the economy of Belo Horizonte, being responsible for 85% of the city's GDP, with the industry making up for most of the remaining 15%.
Belo Horizonte has a developed industrial sector, being traditionally a pole of the Brazilian siderurgical and metallurgical industries, as the state of Minas Gerais has always been very rich in minerals, specially iron ore. The main industrial district of the city was set during the 1940s in Contagem, a part of greater Belo Horizonte. Multinational companies like FIAT, Arcelor, Toshiba have subsidiaries in the region, along with other textile, cosmetic, food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furnishing and refractory companies.
There are also a huge number of small enterprises in the technological sector with region to nationwide success, as biotechnology Biomm, information technology RM Sistemas and Paiva Piovesan, and industrial automation IHM, among others.
Due to both governmental and private funding in the diversification of its economy, the city has become an international reference in Information Technology and Biotechnology, siting advanced researches in Biodiesel fuel. Projects in these fields are most likely to expand due to integration between universities, oil company Petrobras and the Brazilian Government. Over 16% of the Brazilian biotechnological industries are located in Belo Horizonte, with annual revenues of more than US$550 million.
During the past years, the city has made investments in "business-tourism", by promoting more than 3000 national or international events yearly. One of the largest events that ever took place in the city, the IDB meeting, took place in 2005 and attracted people from everywhere in the world.
The climate from Belo Horizonte can be classified as altitude tropical, with yearly average temperature between 18, 19 to around 22, 23 Celsius degrees, as shows the image. At an elevation of 852 meters, the altitude helps a little in cooling the city. Nearby cities at lower altitudes tend to be hotter. Belo Horizonte weather, as almost all Brazilian climates, can be characterized by plenty of rain between October and March, but dry seasons from April to September. There can be problems related with low air humidity during the central months of the drought, as on July or August. The K�ppen climate classification of the region is Aw.
There are many notable Brazilian artistic groups which have its origins in Belo Horizonte. Grupo Corpo, which is perharps the famoust contemporary dance group in the country, was created in the city in 1975, travel internationally and is acclaimed throughout the world. Giramundo is an important group, specialized in performing puppet shows. They maintain the museum of the puppets they created since their foundation in 1970. first launched a complete album in 1981, and has released 11 works since that year.
A slogan that has become as popular among Belo Horizontinians as I ♥ NY to New Yorkers
Another innovative artistic group is Uakti. They create their own musical instruments using materials like PVC, wood, metals and glass. The origin of their name is based in a myth of the Tukano Indians.
Belo Horizonte is not different from other major Brazilian cities, as seen here with the contrast between a favela and small villas denoting social inequalty and reflects the indigenous feeling present in their works.
Many important rock groups were founded in Belo Horizonte, being among them Jota Quest, Pato Fu, Skank, 14 Bis and Tianast�cia. But the band that achieved most international success is certainly the Thrash Metal group Sepultura.
Clube da Esquina is a musical movement that originated in the mid 1960s, and since that time their members have been considered influent in Minas Gerais culture and have important artists such as Tavinho Moura, Wagner Tiso, Milton Nascimento, L� Borges, Beto Guedes, Fl�vio Venturini, Toninho Horta, M�rcio Borges, Fernando Brant and 14 Bis, among others.
Annually, the city realizes the FIT BH, The International Theater Festival of Belo Horizonte, which attracts artists from all over Brazil and many parts of the world.
In 2006 there was an extreme sports event in Belo Horizonte with a slogan that became very popular in Belo Horizonte: "Eu amo BH radicalmente", or "I love Belo Horizonte radically".
Brazil, football is the most popular sport among locals. In Belo Horizonte, there are two of the most successful teams in the country. The city has one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, the Mineir�o, and most of the weekends thousands of local supporters fill in the stadium to almost its maximum capacity.
Together with football, Belo Horizonte has one of the largest attendances at volleyball matches in the whole country. Crowds usually go to Mineirinho in order to watch either the Brazil national volleyball team or Minas T�nis Clube matches.
Minas T�nis Clube is a sport association with various modalities, and its volleyball team counts with some of the most advanced training facilities in the country. Besides Mineirinho, they also play in their own ground, the modern Telemig Celular Arena. Both its male and female volleyball teams have already won the Brazilian Superleague of Volleyball titles.
Sister Cities of Belo Horizonte
Fort Lauderdale, USA (2003)
Masaya, Nicaragua (2002)
Granada, Spain (1975)
Minsk, Belarus (1987)
Luanda, Angola (1968)
Tegucigalpa, Honduras (2004)
Zahle, Lebanon (1974)
Homs, Syria (2001)
Tripoli, Libya (2003)
Cuenca, Ecuador (2004)