REST IN PEACE! Captain Donald Reid

Expats in Brasil mourns the loss of it’s Captain Donald Reid. He died peacefully in the hospital on January 5, 2015 in Paraíba, Brazil.

Although the Expats in Brasil site will no longer be offering any services, the site will be kept online with no restrictions so people can benefit from all of Donald’s advice and experience until it expires.

As a fitting tribute to the Captain, we will let Donald tell you about himself and his life in his own words:

My Name is Donald Reid…

…and I have lived in Brazil for over 36 years. I have helped many people get visas and become permanent residents. Many of you already know me. But for those that don’t, let me tell you a little about myself and my experience in Brazil.

My first visit to Brazil was in 1973 when I was an American tug captain. I towed a huge ocean barge up the Amazon river for some 3,000 km to Iquitos, Peru. Then I returned in 1976 and worked offshore in Brazil for 6 months in Aracaju, Sergipe for McDermont International under contract to Petrobras.

I returned to live in Brazil in July, 1979 in Belem, Para. I got married and became a Permanent Resident. I started a welding company that employed 46 people and also worked as a Captain for Tidewater International. This qualified then for permanent residency and citizenship after 3 years by investment, marriage, having Brazilian children, and working in Brazil.

In 1982, I became a Project Designer registered with SUDEPE (now IBAMA) which is part of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment as Federal Technician No. 235492 specializing in the “Use of Natural Resources, utilization of natural heritage, tourism, tourist complexes and recreational facilities which including theme parks, as well as commercial and recreational sports fishing”.

Even as far back as then I could see the potential of Brazil. I have worked in every state of Brazil except Tocantins and Acre (which did not exist back then). My travels took me into almost every conceivable environment and experience that you can imagine. I could see that Brazil had so much to offer anyone that wished to live there, invest there or work there. It has become my permanent home ever since.

In the 1990s, I was involved in running several tourist businesses. In the year 2000, I started my Yahoo Groups “Americans Living In Brazil” and “Brazilian Travel Club”. In the first half of the 2000s, I also started many other groups and businesses related to tourism. But in 2005, I got involved in attempting to save an ecological reserve called Sernativo in the state of Rio Grande do Norte as result of my work with IBAMA. This work required me to go to school for six months and become an organic agriculture specialist. As a result of all this, I started a Non-Governmental Organization (ONG/NGO) along with five other people to purchase the Sernativo reserve to be able to protect it from destruction. It was the only caatinga reserve in the entire state of Rio Grande do Norte.

To organize the ONG, I used the structure of the Brazilian Travel Club with the idea of tourists helping indigenous residents to make a living and become self-sufficient using both organic farming and tourism. I have been trying to keep this idea alive to the present day.

But in the last few years, things have really changed. For example, in 2005 we didn’t know that the US was going to go belly up.

Brazil not only survived, but has become an economic powerhouse. The potential and opportunities in Brazil have never been greater. For example, the Brazilian Federal Government has allocated half a trillion reais for development of family agriculture. In 2012, family agriculture provides 80% of all of the foods in Brazil. As a result, Brazil has become the new “bread basket” of the Western World.

Many foreigners are now interested in investing and moving to Brazil to secure land, food, leisure and a cleaner environment. Since 1982, I have advised and helped many people to plan and take action in their desire to move to Brazil.

The only problem is, in June 2012 I turned 75 years old. I can’t keep doing this much longer.

While there were only 1,700 people that renounced their US citizenship in 2011, the number of people from the US obtaining or securing permanent residency in Brazil was approximately 29,000 according to the Brazilian Department of Immigration. Many of these people got a second passport making them what are called dual-nationals. For those working in Brazil, all their personal income up to $95,000 is completely US tax-free.

I have helped many of my friends come to Brazil and avoid many unnecessary expensive lawyer fees which can range from US$5,000 to US$21,000. Don’t get me wrong, I use lawyers, but only where necessary. Many procedures can be done without a lawyer. However, some may need to be translated into Portuguese to be submitted to a local Brazilian agency. Just finding and locating some of these agencies can cost a non-Brazilian from weeks to many months of effort.

I have many contacts that I have developed over the years that enable me to act as a “despachante” to help people get around the long waiting periods and bureaucratic red tape that many people that are not familiar with Brazil have to go through. I can literally save people not only months of wasted effort, but literally thousands of dollars wasted on unnecessary legal fees.

But due to present day realities, I really can’t continue to do this for free anymore.

I have so many friends and supporters from my clubs and groups that have stuck with me and ask for my help from time to time, that I still want to be able to provide that help. For the next few years, I am going to try to provide that help on a full-time basis so that I can help as many people as I can… while I still can.


“I wanted to work for a company that is part of a society and contributes to it. I wanted to invest, but I also wanted something to believe in..”

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” — Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of US.

“And I remembered my dream from decades ago: to establish a mecca for the international traveler, a community where we were the “natives”, where we didn’t feel like foreigners, where we all could do something, where nobody would have to be afraid of the question “What do you do?”, where nobody would feel as though he were incomplete or unnecessary or a burden, where we would feel whole and in control and useful and wanted, and from where WE could enrich the world.”

  • When you give up your dreams, you die.
  • If you do not have a dream, your motivation for living is already dead.
  • Dare to dream!
  • After you have visualized your dream, dedicate yourself to making your dreams a reality.
  • Above everything else, enjoy today.
  • Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
  • If it’s not healthy and fun, don’t do it.
  • It’s your life, live it to the fullest.

Agricultural Development – The Mosaic Institute in Brazil has made a grant to Agência Mandalla, which has developed a high-yield, sustainable agriculture model for smallholder farms in northeastern Brazil that improves livelihoods and encourages diverse ecosystems. The mandalla gets its name from its circular design, with a reflecting pool at the center that provides an irrigation source as well as a habitat for fish and ducks. The surrounding rings are used to grow vegetables, beans, fruit, corn and cash crops, while the outermost rings of fruit trees protect the mandalla from the elements. As many as 32 different crops can be grown in a one-acre mandalla, providing tremendous diversity y in diet for the farm family as well as a hedging mechanism against plant disease or infestation.

Each mandalla provides more than five direct jobs and generates food for at least 10 families, or about 50 people on average. Agência Mandalla is moving these farmers from subsistence to a healthy surplus of food for consumption or sale.

Mosaic also took the mandalla model into schools in underprivileged neighborhoods in Cuité in the northeastern state of Paraíba. The children maintain the mandallas as part of their school curriculum, learning simple and sustainable agricultural techniques such as using a discarded plastic bottle as a pocket greenhouse to grow sensitive crops like lettuce. For their efforts, students are rewarded with fresh food for consumption, as well as a personal sense of empowerment.

What is Small Scale Family Agriculture (Agricultura Familiar)?

Family Agriculture in the southern part of the country (video in Portuguese)

New Project: The Agricultural School

Seven Key Ways Organic Farming is Superior to Industrial Agriculture

Organic food industry booming in Brazil

The Smartest Investment of the Decade – Farmland

Beating Rural Poverty in South America (especially Brazil)

How To Drill Your Own Water Well


wwoofWWOOF Brazil is an information service linking travelers like you with organic farms in Brazil. By joining WWOOF Brazil you get our listing of member farms where you can stay from a week to several months.

Farms listed in WWOOF Brazil are part of a world-wide effort to promote the concept of organic farming, sustainable agriculture and responsible consumer habits. As part of this effort, host farms offer WWOOF members the opportunity to learn by doing. As a guest in a WWOOF farm your learning experience is based on you participating in the daily chores of running the farm. In doing so, you can learn a variety of techniques employed by member farms including organic farming, Permaculture and Biodynamics. In addition to learning about organic farming, you can also learn about the local ecology and culture while getting to meet fun and interesting people.

Daily chores at member farms may include harvesting, preparing soil for planting, milking, cleaning pens, digging trenches, maintaining fences and such. Each farm has its own chores, rules and schedules. Please get more information directly with the farms you are interested in working at.

WWOOF Brazil is affiliated to the Intern. WWOOF Assoc. and which promotes environmentally friendly farming and consumer habits by helping bridge the gap between consumers and environmentally-responsible farmers. WWOOF Brazil compiles and publishes for its members a list of host farms throughout Brazil. With this list, you can contact the farm(s) which you wish to visit and make the necessary arrangements for your stay.


sail 1

18 meter sailing fishing boat – Project Pesca a Vela, Click on image to see details. Project (approved) by Capt. Donald Reid – 1982



Northeast Brazil

Northeast Brazil


The northeast of Brazil is our work area. The school project is located in the state of Paraiba. The semi-arid Sertão of the northeast is the poorest area of the country.




The SERTÂO – desert area of northeast Brazil.

Today, 16 million Brazilians live in poverty on less than U.S. $ 70.00 per month. Most of these people is in the field, but many are also seen in cities in makeshift homes without access to the most basic services such as clean water and electricity. This is the theme of a special Pathways Report.

The TV crew was in Brazil in search of these families, in semi-arid Northeast and in the slums of the big cities. And found stories of lives suffered much, but also a framework that begins to change. Brazil has already achieved one of the goals proposed by the UN to reduce poverty by half. The inequality in the country is the lowest in 50 years. Now a new effort seeks to eliminate extreme poverty by 2015.

The report is in Portuguese but the filming is excellent and demonstrates the actual poverty that exists without the need to really understand the language.



Advice for newcomers to Brazil ……

Come with an open mind and an open heart. Don’t expect things to be the same and function as they do back home.

Why Brazil?

The Luckiest People on the Planet

Brazilian Citizenship

More Foreigners Moving to Brazil Daily

What ‘WAS’ Expats in Brasil Confidential?


On this blog we list several types of investments in Brazil. We (the NGO/ONG) have started a small investment fund described below. We also list larger investments for individuals that would qualify a potential investor or immigrant for residence on an INVESTMENT VISA.

Participation in this small private investment service (or INSIDERS) will be open to original ‘Charter’ and ‘Expats Confidential’ members associated with EXPATS IN BRASIL (this blog), our old group AMERICANS (and other expats) LIVING IN BRAZIL, the BRAZILIAN TRAVEL CLUB or any of our Yahoo groups.

The idea is to form a select group interested in making small investments or micro-loans to small businesses and individuals in Brazil. The INSIDERS CLUB will be managed by the directors of the NGO/ONG ASSOCIAÇÂO ABTC-BRASIL – – a non-profit organization registered in Brazil dedicated to furthering the exchange of information among travelers, immigrants and promoting responsible travel and assisting sustainable family agriculture projects in Brazil and South America.

We are members of KIVA – an International non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of micro-finance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.


PARTNERS WANTED – Small companies and investments for INSIDERS members

Chicken Coop Kits

A new mini-company being formed to work with our Family Agriculture school project – relatively small investment – with excellent potential not only in the northeast but nationwide. Read More


Basic design
Basic Design



This is an old project originally planned (and approved) in 1982 …. with the high fuel costs today now very viable. I have two fishing companies registered since 1982. I wish to sell one company and would consider a partner (or partners) in the other. Read More

sail 1

Cultural and Rural Tourism

Partner wanted ANDETUR – I have been a tour operator, translator and agent since 1986 and have over the years worked in every state in Brazil. Interested in an experienced partner to help run the agency, possibly relocate to João Pessoa … I would like to expand the business to include a small pousada project on the property adjacent to the school property. I would still do select cultural and rural tours as guide, and continue working with immigrants to Brazil. Business registered in 1986. Contact me personally

Diesel pickup (included in project)
Diesel pickup (4 x 4 A/C King Cab – 5 PAX)


Pepper Horta-culture

Mangaba Group

This is a commercial venture with the school to raise and sell exotic hot peppers. Most pepper production will be sold under contract. Read More


Donald is selling or reorganizing his personal businesses and reinvesting or donating to the ONGs objectives and the school.

Read this … help support the school or join with us on some interesting investments.




A special event here in the northeast just before Easter – each year – a passion play conducted in Novo Jerusalem, Pernambuco – the public follows the actors as the event takes place. This trip needs to be reserved well in advance.

BRAZIL by Errol Lincoln Uys

My friend Errol Uys has also decided to help by offering me the opportunity to send you a copy of his book “BRAZIL” with every new membership at no additional charge with free shipping. Errol will personally autograph each copy. I have included a description and picture of the cover below.

Through the lives of two powerful families, Brazil depicts five turbulent centuries in the history of a remarkable land. From colony to kingdom, from empire to nation, Brazil is filled with memorable people living through one of the great adventures in human history.

The Cavalcantis are among the original settlers and establish the classic Brazilian plantation — vast, powerful, built with slave labor. The da Silvas represent the second element in both contemporary and historical Brazil: pathfinders and prospectors. For generations, these adventurers have set their eyes on El Dorado, which they ultimately find in a coffee fortune at Sao Paulo.

Brazil is an intensely human story, brutal and violent, tender and passionate. Perilous explorations through the Brazilian wilderness… the perpetual clash of pioneer and native, visionary and fortune hunter, master and slave, zealot and exploiter… the thunder of war on land and sea as European powers and South American nations pursue their territorial conquests… the triumphs and tragedies of a people who built a nation covering half the South American continent, all are here in one spell-binding saga.



“After the manager of my Rio Aracá Lodge died unexpectedly, Don very graciously agreed to fill in as the interim lodge manager. His attention to detail and customer service was exemplary. His knowledge of Brazil, its customs and culture are matched by few.”

– Philip Marsteller

“Donald is an excellent source for information regarding anything to do with Brazil, travel or anything else.”

– Eric Karr

“I have been following the efforts of Andetur and ABTC for several years. I am impressed with Donald’s work. The Brazilian tourism industry needs more people like him.”

– Bill Hinchberger

“I knew Donald for a number of years from his Internet sites and groups. But it wasn’t until I went to Brazil and met with him personally that I understood his commitment to helping people move and live in Brazil as he has for decades. He has helped me and my son immeasurably by cutting through all the red tape so we can get our permanent residency and secure Brazilian passports.”

– Thomas Straub