salvador de bahia


Henrique Duarte Moura

senior researcher at IDLab, imec research group at Antwerp University, Belgium

Henrique Duarte Moura
“Despite the isolation, I felt supported by family and colleagues, finding a sense of belonging in Belgium.”

Tranquil trails and historic havens

minas gerais - tabuleiro waterfall
Minas Gerais - Tabuleiro waterfall (picture by Henrique)

Henrique Duarte Moura hails from Bahia and was brought up in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, surrounded by scenic mountains. From an early age, Henrique had the opportunity to encounter diverse ethnic groups and experience the biomes within Brazil’s borders.

Finding support in isolation

Shortly after moving to Belgium, Henrique experienced the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown. His wife had to return to Brazil to resume her teaching job, leaving him in a new country without friends or family nearby. When asked how hard it was to cope with the isolation, he answered, “Actually, despite the isolation, I felt very supported.” His family in Brazil and colleagues in Belgium made efforts to maintain virtual communication, helping him navigate life in a new and unfamiliar environment smoothly.

During his second year in Belgium, Henrique learned about an integration course that provided valuable insights into various aspects of living in the country and adhering to local customs. This knowledge proved beneficial in understanding how things functioned in Flanders, Belgium. The Flanders region, where Henrique lived, looked like a vibrant cultural hotspot to him. The combination of this cultural richness and the friendships he formed with colleagues helped him feel at home in Belgium.

henrique header
Belo Horizonte

The festivals of brazil

According to Henrique, Brazil is a captivating fusion of African and European influences, evident in its vibrant culture. One prominent example of this cultural richness is seen in the renowned Brazilian carnivals. These festivities bring the streets to life with vibrant parades, pulsating samba music, extravagant costumes, and lively dancing. The procession of people, singing and dancing coordinated, creates an electrifying atmosphere that captivates all.

Brazil also celebrates Festa Junina, the June festival, which pays homage to rural life. This lively event is characterized by vibrant decorations, the warmth of bonfires, and the enchanting quadrilha dance, all coming together to create a truly joyous atmosphere.

Must do

Immerse yourself in the Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador de Bahia by attending a traditional capoeira or samba performance.

capoeira - a traditional sport in brazil
Capoeira - A traditional sport in Brazil
carnival festivities
Carnival festivities
rio de janeiro
Rio de Janeiro

Peaceful escapes and historical wonders

Despite the allure of popular tourist destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Henrique discovered tranquillity in the peaceful hikes across Serra do Cipó National Park, nestled within Brazil’s Cerrado biome, a vast ecoregion of tropical savanna in eastern Brazil. He went on extended expeditions, lasting from three to five days, with limited interactions with fellow adventurers. Within the park, charming cottages were scattered, some of which were inhabited by their owners, offering food and shelter to weary travelers, often without charge.

manaus - colorful brazilian houses
Manaus - Colorful Brazilian houses
ouro preto - panoramic view
Ouro Preto - Panoramic view

Other cities like Ouro Preto and Salvador offer distinct and captivating experiences. Ouro Preto, Brazil’s inaugural world heritage site, is renowned for its association with black gold. Both cities present abundant historical marvels to captivate the curious traveler.