There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.
I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.
"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.
They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.
The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.
But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.
On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.