Brazil's motto is “Ordem e progresso”, which means "order and progress". It is a country rich in natural resources- namely coffee, steel and petroleum- and full-to-bursting with natural beauty. Geographically large, Brazil spans 3 time zones and boasts famous landmarks like the Amazon River and Rio de Janeiro. In recent years, Brazil's social issues have been featured more prominently in international news, in part due to the controversy sparked when Rio hosted the FIFA World Cup. Suddenly, the country's beauty and diversity were shadowed by the poor being evicted from low income housing areas and favelas, political corruption, sex trafficking and rampant crime.
Although education is compulsory, and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to work, child labor is a contributing factor to school absenteeism and drop-out rates. Adolescents from disadvantaged families will often leave school in order to contribute to family income, and in more rural areas it is difficult to enforce the education and labor laws. As the Brazilian government works to address its social issues, we have seen a slow but steady decline in the Infant Mortality Rate- a statistic that is used as an indicator for a country's overall well-being.