We traveled from Curitiba to Belo Horizonte today, spending most of the day en route. Belo Horizonte is northeast of Sao Paulo, but much further inland and at a higher altitude. With 2.5 million people, it is Brazil's third largest city and the capital of Minas Gerais, Brazil's second-most industrialized state, after Sao Paulo.
The area was the site of the world's first gold rush, which brought immigrants - and slaves - to the area. Brazil's slaves were freed some two decades after the U.S. abolished slavery with the 13th amendment, and because of that history, Brazil's population today strongly reflects that African heritage. In fact, the demographics look much like ours, a mix of Caucasians, Africans and Asians, with still a mix of original native tribes.
We are here to see ESCO, and tomorrow will tour their plant. Since ESCO produces mining-related equipment, it makes sense that they are here in what continues to be a major mining center.