As some of you may know, I'm now teaching at NUPEM at UFRJ's advanced campus in Macaé, so I'll be writing about this new Brazilian boomtown more in the future. Here's a brief introduction.
Macaé's a bit of an odd bird: a once-sleepy beach town which mostly made its money through ranching and fishing, it's now the primary support port for Brazil's booming off-shore petroleum industry. The city went from under 100,000 inhabitants in 1990 to over 250,000 today, with a regional estimate of 500,000. Actually, however, we don't even have the slightest clue how many people are in Macaé. Uncounted hordes have followed the oil boom and are squatting in hastily erected shanty towns around the region.
To give you an idea of what has happened to the city, here's two pictures of the main beach, a Praia de Imbetiba, before and after the arrival of PETROBRAS: