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a VirtualTourist member asked on Jul 18, 2012

Salvador da Bahia

3 Month Stay in Salvador

Hello all!
I'm planning a 3 month stay in Salvador and I need some input from you experts. My main goals for my trip are:
1. To improve my Portuguese to an advanced level. I'm currently lower-intermediate.
2. To train in the Afro-Brazilian art of Capoeira which I've been practicing for the past 4 years.
3. To learn about Afro-Brazilian culture and the ancestorial link with Africa(I'm an African).
4. If possible experience Canaval.

Any advance? Thanks!

7 Answers

answered on 7/25/12 by
a VT member

The Canaval is in a different league hope you got to go.

answered on 7/25/12 by
a VT member

The Canaval is in a different league hope you get to go.

answered on 7/28/12 by
a VT member

Yeh, I realize I'll may be treated as a gringo in terms of just being another tourist. But I'm not going looking for acceptance but going to see and experience the african diaspora for myself. Especially with the religion of Condomblé which has direct links to my Yoruba heritage.

I've been training Capoeira Regional but I know the Angola schools tend to be better for music (which is my real passion). I intend to visit both Angola and Regional schools anyway. I really want to stay away from the tourist scene as it's not my real purpose for being there. I just want to train in a local academy with a friendly Mestre.

As far as a place to stay, I've been looking at the AirBnB site for options. I saw Sheila's site has accommodation options for students and I sent her a note but haven't heard back yet. There's another portuguese teacher called Inaê Sodre who seems pretty good too. You heard of her?

answered on 7/28/12 by
a VT member

Yeh, experiencing Carnaval is lowest on my list of priorities and i'm willing to strike it off if it causes me to go over budget.

answered on 7/30/12 by
a VT member

Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate your wealth of knowledge. Yeh, I was able to get a response from Inaê but I'm beginning to think I may not be able to afford one-on-one classes in general. On her site Sheila has group classes with 3 people max for almost half the price of one-on-one sessions. I think this might be my best bet. The accommodation options also seem to be within my budget.

Thanks for the info on Joao Pequeno's school. It would be an honor to train there during my stay. I also noticed Mestre Dinho is in the area. I actually trained with his group for about a year in Florida so that might be a connection to pursue.

With regards to experiencing Afro-Brazilian culture; I really just plan to do this by observing the day to day lives of the people and reflecting on it. I currently have no connection with anyone in the condomblé community. I'm currently in the US for maybe another 6 to 8 months. There isn't really in Bahiana community around where I live but I travel quite a bit. I'll definitely try to expand my network before I leave. But yes, I expect there to be malandros and con-artist everywhere. We have them all over back in my country too. Though I know the language barrier may pose a slight obstacle in fully understanding intensions.

Thanks again for all your help. I'm still trying to decide on a good time to go. Someone told me March might be better because it would be less busy. And I've pretty much given up on trying to make my stay coincide with carnaval.

answered on 8/8/12 by
a VT member

hi i'll be in salvador for the week end any suggestions for the nighlife??any festa?
are u in salvador?

answered on 10/21/12 by
a VT member


I'm definitely NOT an expert, but here's some (I hope) helpful info.

I've found another private instructor that you might be interested in. The website is below.

Also, while I think the info the previous poster offered is really helpful, I'd question the idea that Salvador is "comfortably colorblind" but that's another conversation entirely.

If you're looking to connect with folk in the US who are connected to Candomble, I can help as I am one. I have to say, though, that folk (in the US) who practice Candomble tend to be quite protective of their Iles so I can't really promise anything without knowing you personally. Being Yoruba and, I'm assuming, practicing Ifa will definitely help you out though. If you want to wait until you get there, there are tours that might be a good way of making some connections with folks. Some of the more open Iles may even invite you to prayer, rituals, etc. As far as the best times to go, that's up to you, but right now is festival season for Candomble. Most Iles and omo Orixa are pretty active with rituals and the like until Jan/Feb. January has Oxala's Waters (for 16 days) and Iemanja Festival is on February 2. A few other festivals happen, but really it's Carnival and then relatively quiet until about June.

I'll be there for about 5 months beginning in late Dec-January. If you're there at that time, let's have lunch! :)


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