As foreign friends and I exchange information on our respective hometowns, I began to reflect on the life that Sao Paulo has to offer and compared this with the bountiful opportunities in Switzerland and other countries. For instance, I have been told that it is a punishable offence in Singapore for parents not to send their children to school for primary education. This is unheard of in Brazil.
While Sao Paolo has no doubt developed considerably over the past decades, poverty is still clearly widespread especially in the North-Eastern part of Brazil. The extreme inequality of land possession is a contributing factor of this issue as the majority of land owned by farmers is dedicated to subsistence production. Additionally, the automation of large plantations have caused decline in jobs.
The situation is not any better in Sao Paulo. With over 20 million in population, globalization has brought about relocation of businesses and closures of factories, leaving thousands without a job and many turning to crimes. Poor infrastructure, limited access to technology, inadequate health facilities and deficiency in formal education are turning many into committing crimes. This, I realize, is not a choice that many are making, but rather as a last resort in survival.