Latin America Special Issue



Words by

Ben Spies, age 13

Pictures by

Cleo Exell, age 12

Translation by

Alberto Cury

Narration by

Yuri Dos Anjos

You can read this story in

Brazilian Portuguese

by clicking the button below.

Read translated version

I look out at the sea and breathe in the salty spray. The waves crash down on the kids as they play in the water. They emerge laughing. I see people sunbathing on the sand, relaxing with their eyes closed. This is Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — a masterpiece. It’s beautiful.

The seawater is the colour of jade and warm like a bath. There are amazing views all around. For me, the best part is the delicious Brazilian food that is dished up in the restaurants opposite the beach.

“There’s one special thing that makes me want to go back to Rio again and again — my family”

While its beaches are an undeniably incredible part of Rio, the place I love to go most is Sugarloaf Mountain — one of Mother Earth’s magical creations. To reach the very top of Sugarloaf, you ride on cable cars that dangle high above the city. The views are magnificent. At the top, you have monkeys for company! These small agile creatures jump from tree to tree and sometimes come within arm’s reach. They are just the cutest things ever.

Another remarkable aspect of Rio is the statue of Christ the Redeemer that stands tall and mighty over the city. I attended a school directly below this grand statue. All you needed to do was gaze up and there it was with open arms, a symbol of peace.

There’s one special thing that makes me want to go back to Rio again and again — my family. It doesn’t matter if we live in different countries, we will always be there for each other. We make the most of every visit, whether it’s marching down the streets at carnival time, having a big family barbecue during the hot summer days or watching football with my cousins. Family is one of the most important things in life. My family is in Brazil, and I’m proud to say that.