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Curtis' Mission

Monday, June 13, 2005

Zone Conference

Curtis and his companion attend a zone conference every six weeks. They spent the night with twelve other missionaries in Guaratingueta. The next morning they drove to Sao Jose dos Campos. He says that zone conferences are "the coolest".

Guaratingueta, is a city of Brazil in the eastern part of the state of Sao Paulo, 124 miles northeast of the city of Sao Paulo. Population of the municipality, which includes a large rural district and the villages of Apparecida and Roseira, is 100,000 people. The city, which was founded in 1651, stands on a fertile plain 3 miles from the Paraiba river, and is the commercial center of one of the oldest agricultural districts of the state. The district produces large quantities of coffee, and some sugar, Indian corn and beans. Cattle and pigs are raised. The city dwellings are for the most part constructed of rough wooden frames covered with mud, called taipa by the natives, and roofed with curved tiles. The Sao Paulo branch of the Brazilian Central railway passes through the city, by which it is connected with Rio de Janeiro on one side and Sao Paulo and Santos on the other.

Sao Jose dos Campos is one of the most important cities in Sao Paulo. It lies about 75 miles east of Sao Paulo; it's cut across by Via Dutra, the highway which connects Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. In 1950, Sao Jose was the place chosen for the construction of the Brazilian Aerospace Center; the Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica is today one of the most respected Brazilian schools of Engineering. Sao Jose dos Campos is one of the most important industrial and technological cities in Brazil. Embraer and most of the Brazilian aerospace companies are here; also, the following corporations have plants in Sao Jose: Petrobras, Johnson and Johnson, Kodak, Fuji, Pilkington, Panasonic, Eaton, General Motors, and Ford. The population is approximately 600,000 people and has an average income higher than most of Brazil. An infrastructure of commerce and services was created to cater for both the local consumers and the growing number of visitors.

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