RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Forgive me for I have been neglectful, it has been a month since my last Editorial. It is not for a lack of want, but a lack of time, as other priorities have pressed to the top of the list – last month was our busiest in terms of articles published, and stories read.
This month the Catholic 2013 World Youth Day (Jornada Mundial da Juventude in Portuguese) is set to bring an estimated 2.5 million people to Rio, which is similar to numbers brought during Carnival and New Year’s celebrations each year. It is another very busy news month and we’re excited to try to keep up with everything happening.
When we started four years ago the path to the 2016 Olympics seemed like a steady upward march, although of course life is not so linear. Readership has reached an average of 6,000 articles (“page views”) every day Online, and our 10,000 copies of the monthly Print edition are in demand, and the quality of our news reporting has never been better.
For all the good news though, there are concerns. I was listening to a guy the other day, an older American expatriate who works in shipping and has lived in Rio for maybe twenty years. He said emphatically, “Rio is going to see the worst real estate crash in history,” going on in earnest, “this place is going to burn.”
His friend, another expatriate who has lived here as long said: “But the market does not have the tell-tale signs of over extended credit, there are not the over mortgaged property owners here.” referring to the over-lending ingredient that recently imploded the recent housing market, sparking a global financial crisis.
Quem sabe (who knows), but the reality is that property and cost of living has easily doubled in just a few years, while salaries and opportunities for most have not. For a visitor, someone on vacation or traveling for a short amount of time – that may be manageable (especially with the stronger dollar to real exchange) – but not when you work and live here.
So what can be done? Change, a change for Brazil, exactly what the mass protests last month was pushing for. That was a special moment for Brazil, and as someone who lives here, I HOPE it will lead to something. Although we can’t sit back on our hands hoping to feel immediate improvements.
Change is constant, we must embrace it because it either happens to us, or we make it happen for us. So The Rio Times is going to change, in an effort to survive and grow in these challenging times, we are going to change because we must. Change is required, and change is good.