Mercosur Spanish acronym of Mercado Común del Sur, Portuguese Mercosul, acronym of Mercado Comum do Sul. Common Market of the South South American regional economic organization. 

Mercosur grew out of earlier efforts to integrate the economies of Latin America through the Latin American Free Trade Association (1960) and its successor, the Latin American Integration Association (1980). 

In 1985 Argentina and Brazil signed the Declaration of Iguaçu, which created a bilateral commission to promote the integration of their economies; by the following year the two countries had negotiated several commercial agreements. 

Mercosur was created in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was signed by the heads of state of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Several other countries were later admitted as associate members, and in 2006 the presidents of the four member countries approved full membership for Venezuela, though its final ascent was blocked for years by the Paraguayan congress. 

Mercosur is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

In 2003 Mercosur signed a free-trade agreement with the Andean Community, which went into effect on July 1, 2004. In 2007 a new parliament of the member states was inaugurated in Montevideo. 

The institutions of Mercosur include the Common Market Council, the organization's primary decision-making organ; the Common Market Group, an executive body that implements policies; the Trade Commission, which oversees commercial policy and may resolve trade disputes; and the Consultative Economic and Social Forum, through which businesses and trade unions may express their views. 

"Mercosur." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 10 Jul. 2012. 

Azamara Pursuit 15-night New Year's Eve Rio Voyage

Lecture Titles & Synopses

  • It Takes Two to Tango: from Buenos Aires to Montevideo.

An overview of the history and splendor of today's Montevideo. Join Dr. Rubén Pelayo as he introduces the blend of Argentina and Uruguay, plus Brazil and MERCOSUR.

  • From Samba to SAMPA

"Earn in São Paulo so you can spend in Rio." SAMPA, the top industrial center in Latin America --the locomotive of Brazil and much more!

  • Of Piracy and Paradise: The Islands of Brazil

Ilhabella as the perfect island, and Paraty as the unspoiled colonial hideaway. Two islands, one elevating state of mind -- estado de espírito, as the say in Portuguese.

  • Of Piracy and Paradise: The Islands of Brazil (part 2)

Buzios, from fishing and whaling in the XVII Century, to a favorite upscale playground for Cariocas, Paulistas, Argentines and people the world over.

  • The Grandeur of Rio de Janeiro and the richness of Copacabana

Synopsis: Rio as national capital, main cultural and tourist center along with Copacabana's majesty as we ring-in the New Year.

  • So Much South, so Little Time: Farewell to the Southern Cone

The grandeur of Punta del Este, the contrasting history of two different kingdoms, and the birth of two seemingly similar colonies: The Spanish and the Portuguese.

Buenos Aires / Punta del Este / Rio de Janeiro / Salvador de Bahía / Natal / Fortaleza / French Guiana / Barbados / Puerto Rico / Miami.



Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, Brazil.© Wilfredo Rodríguez 

South Cone

The southern cone of South America, with its tip pointed towards Antarctica, is a region that includes the republics of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile.

Brazil /Brasil

It is the fifth largest country in the world, exceeded in size only by Russia, Canada, China, and the United States.

Es el quinto país más grande del mundo, superado en tamaño sólo por Rusia, Canadá, China y los Estados Unidos.

National Congress buildings, Brasília, Brazil.                     Rubens Chaves/TIPS/Image state 


Brazil, officially Federative Republic of Brazil, Portuguese República Federativa do Brasil, country of South America that occupies half the continent's landmass. It is the fifth largest country in the world, exceeded in size only by Russia, Canada, China, and the United States, though its area is greater than that of the 48 conterminous U.S. states. Brazil faces the Atlantic Ocean along 4,600 miles (7,400 km) of coastline and shares more than 9,750 miles (15,700 km) of inland borders with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador-specifically, Uruguay to the south; Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia to the southwest; Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana to the north. Brazil stretches roughly 2,700 miles (4,350 km) from north to south and from east to west to form a vast irregular triangle that encompasses a wide range of tropical and subtropical landscapes, including wetlands, savannas, plateaus, and low mountains. Brazil contains most of the Amazon River basin, which has the world's largest river system and the world's most-extensive virgin rainforest. The country contains no desert, high-mountain, or arctic environments.

Preston E. James Author of All Possible Worlds: A History of Geographical Ideas; Latin America. 


Brasil, oficialmente República Federativa de Brasil, República Federativa portuguesa do Brasil, país de Sudamérica que ocupa la mitad de la masa terrestre del continente. Es el quinto país más grande del mundo, superado en tamaño sólo por Rusia, Canadá, China y Estados Unidos, aunque su área es mayor que la de los 48 estados conterminios de Estados Unidos. Brasil se enfrenta al Océano Atlántico a lo largo de 4.600 millas (7.400 km) de costa y comparte más de 9.750 millas (15.700 km) de fronteras interiores con todos los países sudamericanos excepto Chile y Ecuador, específicamente, Uruguay al sur; Argentina, Paraguay y Bolivia al suroeste; Perú al oeste; Colombia al noroeste; y Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam y Guayana Francesa al norte. Brasil se extiende aproximadamente 2.700 millas (4.350 km) de norte a sur y de este a oeste para formar un vasto triángulo irregular que abarca una amplia gama de paisajes tropicales y subtropicales, incluyendo humedales, sabanas, mesetas y montañas bajas. Brasil contiene la mayor parte de la cuenca del río Amazonas, que tiene el sistema fluvial más grande del mundo y la selva virgen más extensa del mundo. El país no contiene entornos desérticos, de alta montaña o árticos.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Sé Square, São Paulo.© Wilfredo Rodríguez