Maringa, BRAZIL – Maringa is a medium-sized city in Parana State’s interior, located in southern Brazil. You’ve probably never heard about it, just like me until I moved here.
The city is so green, that you can get sick just by looking at it too long.
There are trees and lawns everywhere that add some color to the metropolitan landscape. That’s why people also named Maringa the Green City, or Cidade Verde in Portuguese.
As I walk to school every day, I see the city streets lined with trees and plantings. It’s a great time to reflect on what I’m doing with my life, and at the same time I can imagine what are the others going to do in their day.
Public schools in Brazil look a little like a prison, but I can assure you that people are pretty nice here.
Since my first month studying at my school – Colegio Estadual Alfredo Moises Maluf – I’ve made some good friends, some that go back to when I was only 11.
In Brazil, we have three types of schools: public – which could be state or municipal – and private.
In Maringa, the municipal schools are only for kids under 10, so after that, you go to a state school until you’re 17 or 18 years old, when you graduate from high school.
One curiosity about my city: it comes to life in the evening. After work, people usually hang out in the downtown area or at restaurants. The gathering happens later in the evening, like after about 8 p.m., because Maringa is too hot during the day.
They like having some hot dogs with authentic green sauce – don’t ask me what it tastes like, cause I have no clue – pizza and sometimes barbecue with beer!
During weekdays, ordering a packed lunch is common here, mostly because people don’t have time to cook.
But it’s not part of the Brazilian culture – cooking still is something that Brazilians do.
Although having many trees in the city is a good solution for climate change, the lack of urban planning brings its own problems: falling threes when it rains.
In heavy wind, they can easily fall, destroying houses, stores, cars, schools and many other places. Even my car got damaged by a falling tree.
Dear passengers, I hope you enjoyed “visiting” my hometown. It’s a simple, sunny city, but there are nice things to do here.
Nicole Luna is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.