Sitting Room

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Out of this world: floating on the Upper Iguassu River before it plunges down

Calm smooth water surrounded by hundreds of powerful "saltos" falls or cascades
 After seeing the Iguassu Falls from the Brazilian side, out of the official trail, venturing into the canyon of the Iguassu River on board one of the boats of  Macuco Safari, seeing the Falls from all angles from the Argentine side, such as the Upper Circuit, the Lower Circuit, Devil's Throat there are still possibilities for surprises at the Iguassu Falls. How? There is a tour called "Paseo Ecológico" formerly called "Floating Iguazú" that offers an opportunity to enjoy the Iguassu River before it plunges into the canyon below. "It's a tour for contemplation," warns the gentleman who sells tickets for the tour.

It is Monk Parakeet's nesting season in Urban Foz do Iguaçu (Iguassu Falls Area - Brazil)

The Bird Park has a project to reintroduce the Red-and-green macaw in the Iguaçu National Park. If and when they do fly again over the Iguaçu National Park of Brazil they will certainly fly over the Argentinean Iguazú National Park, over the city of Foz do Iguaçu and neighboring cities in this Westernmost tip of the State of Paraná since parrots, macaws and parakeets have no need to obey human border restrictions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Introducing the Iguassu Falls Area Guru - This Blog's Seven Approaches to the Iguassu Falls

Seen from above: Major Structural Arcs of Iguassu Falls  

Guru  is a Sanskrit  term that brings to mind the idea of someone who is a "teacher, guide, expert, or master" of certain knowledge or field. The knowledge or field we are talking about here is the Iguassu Falls Area – which includes the Iguassu Water Falls, themselves, as well as the cities and towns, people, organizations, religions and spirituality, culture, languages and cosmovisions in the area.  

Guru also means someone who is more than a teacher. It is one who can help dispel the darkness and take students towards light, serving as a "counselor”, helping mold values, sharing experiential as much as literal knowledge, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student. So the purpose of this site is to help people, local and visitors, to see and experience the Iguassu Falls in all of its Seven Awareness Levels.     

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Umbanda and Candomblé Temples (Houses) in Foz do Iguaçu: address list

  Mission accomplished. Members of the  
Mãe Edna de Baru's (Mother Edna of Baru) house.

An Afro-Brazilian Religious Space may be called "temple", "center" (centro) as in Centro de Umbanda (Umbanda Center), "terreiro" - a word derived from "terra (Earth) and simply "house".  A "terreiro" can be an area in the bush that is separated for the service, the undergrowth is cleared, the soil swept so that feet can tap and stump on the ground without the danger of snakes, insects that could somehow cause harm to the people in ceremony. "We do not need a cathedral. Men make cathedral. The little corner in the capoeira (second growth forest around the house) is god-made and all we need".

Foz do Iguaçu is said to have 42 "houses". Each "house" is independent. There is no hierarchy. Houses do cooperate among them. Each house is presided over by a babalorisha (Babalorixá) or Yalorisha (Ialorixá). Babá means father and Ya (iá) is mother. Thus Babalorisha and Yalorisha means father and mother of Orisha. Commonly both are called pai (father) or mãe (mother) de santo (saint, orixa) in the sense that they take care and cater to the saints or Orishas.        

An adaptation from the Jackson Lima / Blog de Foz list of

Umbanda and Candomblé Temples in Foz do Iguaçu (Iguassu Falls Area)
How did this list begin? See also Afrobrazilian Religious Dates and Holidays
and This is Cabocla Jurema for a glimpse of how this list began

Thursday, February 08, 2018

A Small Meditative Guide to the Foz do Iguaçu Chen Tien Buddhist Temple

In short: In this visit you will see statues representing:  

Three Buddhas

Four Boddhisattvas

Four Celestial Kings

Two Enlightened Children

Eighteen Arahats

Guardian Lions

Buddhism has three major world schools: Theravada, Vajrayana* and Mahayana. The Chen Tien Buddhist Temple of Foz do Iguaçu belongs to the Mahayana school of Buddhism, the one with a great presence in China, Japan and other Asian countries. Within Mahayana Buddhism, the Chen Tien Buddhist Temple of Foz do Iguaçu belongs to the Pure Land Buddhism. Pure Land is a place created by the mind of Amitabha Buddha to whom the Temple is dedicated. The  Amitābha (Amitabha) also known as Amida  is a Heavenly Buddha, existing as an enlightened Being for many ages and many other world systems long before the appearance of Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha Sakhyamuni – the Historical Buddha who founded Buddhism in recent times (circa three thousand years). The mantra of Amitabha is Namo Amituofo in Chinese. In Japanese: Namu Amida Butsu. In Sanskrit Om Amithabada Hri!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

The 12th Cataratas Tourism Festival has just ended: will you come in 2018?

Official Grand Opening (Nilton Rolin / Itaipu)
This is just to share some memories and images of the 12th Cataratas Tourism Festival (Foz do Iguaçu Tourism Market ) that ended two days ago on Friday, 30th, 2017. By "Cataratas" organizers have intended to pinpoint The Iguassu Falls as the seat of the Tourism Festival held in the City of Foz do Iguaçu, from June 28 - 30. 
The Fair (NR)

Brazilian Minister of Tourism Marx Beltrão with Paraguayan Galoperas Jar Dancers (NR)
Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) Puerto Iguazu(Argentina) and  Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) form the Three-Point Border where the three countries meet.  The Cataratas Festival is a umbrella event under which the following parallel events take place:     
Hackthoners at work (Festival Photo)
The Iguassu  Tourism Forum, Hackatour (Tourism Hackathon), The Argentine Wine Hall, The MICE Cataratas Hall,  Thermal and Spa Tourism Hall, Adventure Cataratas Hall,  E-Marketing Cataratas Halls, Shopping Tourism Hall, Cultural and Spirituality Hall, Gastronomy Arena, Regional Sustainable Product Expo, the Cataratas Hotel Expo and of course the flagship International Cataratas Tourism Fair. Summing up 1.780 exhibitors showcased  1176 brands in 209 stands in the fair. Over 8.000 visitors have been registered. The festival has grown 18% compared to last year's edition, according to organizer's information.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lots of field flickers but no field around

With civilization encroaching and natural areas availability shrinking, animals either go down extinction alley  or adapt. I am glad to register that a family of field flickers has just moved in to an area in urban Foz do Iguaçu already shared by a growing number of bird species. I have taken pictures of them right on the spot where busy avenues Republica Argentina and Jules Rimet meet. The Field Flicker (Colaptes campestris) is called "pica-pau-pau-do-campo" in Portuguese,  "carpintero campestre" in Spanish, "pic champêtre" in French and Ypekû ñu in Guarani - the native language to Jungle Lands that best translate Nature and its phenomena as far as tropical forests goes from the Amazon all the way down to Uruguay, Argentina and the whole of Brazil.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Safe in the city: Urban spaces are the new frontier for international security

Vanda Felbab-Brown
Over the coming decades, as more and more people move into urban centers, the world’s major cities will increasingly play a key role in the 21st century distribution of global power. More than ever, writes Vanda Felbab-Brown, governing capacity and legitimacy will be shaped by how states manage public security, suppress crime, and deliver stability and prosperity for millions of inhabitants. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thank You World, Carnival and You conquered the Zica Outburst

Carla Daniele with 6-month-old son Victor in Foz do Iguaçu

Carnival in Brazil and everywhere else ended two weeks ago. And what I've got to say I will say it right now because otherwise time will make this thought incredibly old. I want to scream Thank you Brazil for not having canceled carnival 2016 because of the Zica Virus threat and explosion. Thank you World, because so many beautiful, brave people came in a time when all kinds of voices said that coming to Brazil would be dangerous. People came from Italy, from Portugal from the USA, from Canada, from Japan, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, France, the UK from all over.Thank you, Gracias, Grazie.

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay to showcase diverse beauty of Brazil

Alex Ferro Photo of students holding cards with
relay host cities

The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay will begin on 3 May, but a taste of the colour and excitement that it will spread around Brazil was experienced in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday (24 February). In a celebratory event held alongside the Rio 2016 headquarters, the full relay route, the first torchbearers and the uniform they will wear were revealed to the sound of forró music accompanied by dancers on stilts.

Children weaved among the dancers, proudly holding aloft the names of all 329 towns and cities that will host the relay which will visit all five regions of Brazil between 3 May and  5 August, reaching 90 per cent of the population. Despite a hot summer sun that produced 40-degree heat, it was an energetic and multicultural celebration, as the relay and the Games themselves are expected to be.

Rio 2016 Olympic mascot Vinicius was the first to model the torchbearers uniform, showing off his samba skills in front of the gathered crowds and media. Brazilian judoka Érika Miranda, who was selected by Rio 2016 to be a torchbearer, also donned the white, yellow and green outfit, alongside others who have been invited to carry the torch by the relay partners Coca-Cola, Nissan and Bradesco.

Read more  on official Rio de Janeiro 2016 site

Check List of towns and cities

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hitler's daughter may have lived in Foz do Iguaçu till her death in 2006

The lady in the photograph grew up beleiving that she was part of Germany's Royalty and that she was Countess Nora Daisy von Kirschberg. She was never able to question why a Countess had to live a life in utter poverty, most of this time in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) where she shared a shack with dogs, cats, garbage, lice, mice? She had arived to Foz do Iguaçu back in the early 70s with mother Countess Nora von Kirschberg who had once been married to a Count and Former Military called Kurt Bruno von Kirschberg. The family had to escape Germany with the Nazis on their heels.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Iguassu Night Sky by Babak Tafreshi of TWAN

Iguassu Falls Night Sky

Fans of NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day might have noticed Friday’s installment: a stunning shot of the southern sky over Iguaçu Falls, as seen from deep in the Brazilian side of the national park surrounding the falls.
But really, you have to see it on a much more cosmic scale …
I was lucky enough to get in touch with the astrophotograher who snapped the shot, Babak Tafreshi, a photographer, science journalist, astronomy communicator, and award-winning creator of The World at Night (TWAN) project. By Victoria Jaggard posted in 2010. See photo check text  HERE

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Visiting the Brazilian side of the Three Border Marker is no longer free

Official Authorization to charge
Visitors to the Brazilian Three Border Mark now run by the Cataratas do Iguaçu S.A. private company partly owned by Advent International will have to pay R$ 14.00 plus R$ 1.00 as a volunteer contribuiton to the Iguassu Tourismo Promotion Fund totalling R$ 15.00. Fee began to be charged as of this Monday, January, 11. In US dollars that will amount to USD 3,50 plus the 30-cent contribution to the Iguassu Fund (Fundo Iguaçu). The total will be US$ 3,80, less than US$ 4 which seem to be OK. In return for the fee visitors will have a Bar known as the Boteco Cabeza de Vaca that offers the chance to have a "drink with a view" and what a view! Foz do Iguaçu (the city) residents do not pay. Parking fee for cars is R$ 5.00.

The rest of Brazilians will pay the same as Americans, Canadians, Australians, Paraguayans, Argentineans. Brazilians over 60, will pay half the amount. Brazilian Children will also pay half the fee from 2 through 11 will also pay half the entrance fee.  As said abovce residents of Foz do Iguaçu do not pay to get in but will have to prove that they live in the city. They can do that by bringing a legal document with a photo on it plus a something that shows a local address, Voter's card may be accepted.   

On the Iguassu Tourism Promtion Fund (ITPF)
The ITPF survives thanks to a R$ 1 contribution made by tourists and vitiors to the Iguaçu National Park, the Itaipu Binational Dam Tourism Complex, hotels and now the Three Border Mark now officialy part of the Marco das Americas (Mark of the Americas) Tourism Complex. The money contributed to the ITPF may be used beyond promotional interests. One example fo that "other use" has been seen after September 7, 1915 when a storm with strong winds, rains and left over 50,000 people roofless. Records show that morte than 3,00 houses had their roofs completey destroyed. The fund contributed over 80,000 to help the affected community mostly within a five-kilometers radius from the Three Border Mark.        

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Something is happening on the Border-Mark Monuments of the Tri-Frontier Area

As it was until recently. Note Bahá’i

Message on Peace  
Brazilian-side 1903 Border Mark

As it is since Tuesday, Dec, 21.
Photo by Marco Labanca

 As it will look by the end of 2017
as part of the

Mark of the Americas Tourism Complex
Known as the 'Marco das Tres Fronteiras' in Portuguese and 'Hito de las Tres Fronteras' in Spanish this  most interesting tri-nation place to see in the Argentina-Brazil- Paraguay Triple Border Area has finally got reasons to positively be in the local headlines. The 'three marks' have been targeted for investiments as the region looks for ways to 'economic reconversion' which locally means moving from an informal kind of economy to more formal or hopefully total formal business activities. 

Theme Park on

Jesuit Missions and the

Spanish adelantado

Cabeza de Vaca *

The Brazilian Border Stone Mark or "Marco"  has been handed over to the private sector as a PPP (Public Private Partnership). The first stage of the the new Tourism Complex is open to the public. It includes a Visitors' Center, a Bar overlooking the Iguassu and Paraná Rivers besides of course offering the opportunity to peep at the Paraguayan and Argentinean Border Marks. The company who got permission to run the place hopes to deliver the whole project by December 2017 which will include a Cabeza de Vaca Memmorial, the reopened and renewed iconic Space for the Americas, restaurants and one or two observation towers.        

* Did you know that the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca "discovered" Iguassu Falls on his way from (what now is) the Brazilian Coast to Asuncion, Paraguay, is also part of US History ?

The Argentine Side's 
Three Borders Mark (3BM)

Older and simpler red-earth version of the Argentinean 3BM
The Argentine 3B Mark as it looked until rather recently
Read more on this HERE 

The Argentine side 1903 Border Mark as it looks today