“RECIFE, Brazil — The Brazilian state of Pernambuco was once known for its vast plains of parched dirt and roving bandits called cangacos, who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.
For later generations, escaping the widespread poverty of the northeast customarily meant moving to livelier southeastern cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, though many migrants still ended up living in favelas, or slums.
Today, an economic boom has given locals good reasons to stay put, and large numbers of Brazilians are even making their way north in search of a better life.
The area around Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, has benefited from huge government and business investments such as the expansion of the port of Suape, a new shipyard and an oil refinery project. Government aid has also helped struggling families improve their lives, which has lessened the need to move elsewhere.”