Porto Alegre is one of Brazil's main cities, and the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul state.
This city is located in the junction of five rivers such as the Guaíba River (which is a lake in fact), a continuation of Jacuí River before it flows into the Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks), among others.
Porto Alegre is an important industrial centre in the south area of Brazil. Since it is located near Buenos Aires and Montevideo cities, Porto Alegre is placed at a strategic point within the MERCOSUR.
According to the 2005 Census, this city has a total population of more than 1,428,696. Natives of the state are known as "gaúchos" and the most typical dish is "churrasco" (barbecued meat). Also, this city is famous for the "chimarrão" (strong and hot tea prepared from yerba mate).
The I World Social Forum, an international event where social issues of today's world are discussed, took place in this city. This event was held in Porto Alegre in 2002, 2003 and 2005 as well.
Important Brazilian universities are located here. For example, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.