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Central-West Region

The Central-West Region is composed of the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias; along with Distrito Federal (Federal District), where Brazil’s national capital, Brasília, is situated. This Region is right in the heart of Brazil, representing 18.86% of the national territory.

Today the Central-West is one of the main producers of food for Brazil, the rest of world and attracting many investments for agriculture, peccary, bio fuel industries. Majority of the people in the Central-West region are white Brazilians from the South-East and Southern Brazilian states and Brazilian born Mennonites descendants from European nations (German/Russian/Dutch) and the United States. Minorities are the Guarani-Kaiowás native americans, Brazilians of Asian descendants (Japanese, Korean and Chinese) and Brazilians of mixed races.

In the State of Mato Grosso do Sul lays the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland. It extends into the state of Mato Grosso and portions in the nations of Bolivia and Paraguay, sprawling over an area estimated at between 140,000 square kilometers (54,000 sq mi) and 195,000 square kilometers (75,000 sq mi). Though most Pantanal land is privately owned (by Brazilian citizens), not many people actually live in the Pantanal. The people of the Pantanal are known as ‘Pantaneiros’ (Brazilian cowboys of the Pantanal). The main economic activity is cattle-ranching. Pantanal cowboys (peões) have their own culture, typical foods, clothing and equipment.

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