Catalans Abroad

Albert Garcia Adell

Sao Paulo (Brazil)

The pearl of the Atlantic

Albert Garcia Adell is from Barcelona. Twelve years ago he went to Brazil to teach at a local university. He's now a professor there and has no plans to return.
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
I'd suggest a restaurant called “Boca e Sabor”, where you'll taste the best bacallà , or cod, money can buy. It's in the city centre and it is not expensive at all.
Where would you have a special dinner for two?
Maybe the Paula Restaurante: healthy food in a nice place, close to the sea.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit? 
Anytime! We get great weather all year long. You can go to the beach in winter and summertime. I'd suggest avoiding January, when tourists invade the city.
  What is the best kept secret about the area? 
To choose the beach that fits your needs wisely. Families head to Enseada and singles go to Pernambuco.
Why did you leave Catalonia?
I was offered a semester at the Universidade de Riberao Preto, in Sao Paulo, teaching at the education faculty. I had no plans to stay more than those six months, but I fell in love with a city on an island next to Sao Paulo: Guarujá. Two years later, I'm still here!
Why did you choose Guarujá?
Well, Sao Paulo is a gigantic city, but Guarujá is on an island, with a beautiful beach and a great climate. The university has a campus here, so it's the perfect place!
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
I was very lucky. I got a permanent job as a teacher in the university as soon as I finished my semester as a guest teacher.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
Guarujá is a perfect mix. Less than 300,000 inhabitants, magnificent beaches, quality tourism, a good university environment. I love finishing my working day and spending the afternoon at the beach, enjoying a caipirinha.
What would you most like to change?
Sometimes it is too rainy, but you get used to it.
What do you miss most from home?
Family, friends, my granpa's arroces, and, most of all, Barça. People in Brazil are all football fans, but I miss the matches at Camp Nou.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
Don't come if you don't like the sun and the beach. If you do, you have more than 25 different beaches to enjoy. The food is great and there is a very active night life. And you have Sao Paulo one hour away, where you'll find lots of places to visit and things to do.
Are there any places to avoid at all costs?
Guarujá is a very safe city. Sao Paulo is not. Follow the instructions of the locals and don't go sightseeing on your own.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
Absolutely not. After more than a decade, I don't imagine myself anywhere else but in Guarujá.
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