Want to know what it’s like to live and work in São Paulo, Brazil? Our blog series, WEX Worldwide, goes straight to the source, asking our international employees why they love our locations—and why you will, too. Following our profile on Music City, USA, we’re heading south to catch up on life in Brazil—thanks to the WEX employees who work in the country’s capital, São Paulo.
Everything Is Larger than Life
It seems in the modern-day megacity of São Paulo—population 13 million—that nothing is done in small doses. The metropolis is home to multiple “bests” and “biggests,” some that you have surely heard of (the famed annual Carnival) and some that may be a total surprise. For example, did you know that the city has the largest helicopter fleet in the world, with more than 200 heliports, where approximately 1,300 aircraft land and depart daily?
São Paulo also has the largest Italian community in the country—and the melting pot doesn’t end there. There are between 1.5 million and 2.5 million Brazilians who are of Japanese descent. And with the largest openly gay community in Latin America, the annual gay pride parade is considered the largest in the whole of South America.
Open for Business
The WEX office in São Paulo captures the spirit of the city—it is 100 percent open office space. With no walls, the WEX team is able to work fully integrated, which fits the spirit of Brazilians, who one WEX staffer named as the best feature of the office: “Brazilians are cheerful and resilient, wonderful to work with.”
São Paulo is the foremost business center of Latin America and serves as a hub for WEX’s expansion into more countries and cities in the region. Working at WEX Latam gives one the opportunity to speak three languages—Portuguese, English and Spanish, given the expansion plans. Accordingly, WEX Latam is the only office to serve all of WEX’s lines of business based on one single platform.
The diversity of people translates to diversity of food and culture, as well. You can grab a slice at one of the more than 6,000 pizzerias (!) that operate in the city—that’s more than any city worldwide—or you can visit any of its more than 12,500 restaurants. Some of the world’s most influential chefs live and work in the city, including Alex Atala, whose D.O.M. has graced the list of the world’s best restaurants for almost 10 years. For those who like to do their own cooking—or just shop food—there’s gourmet market Mercado Municipal, especially for food lovers. And our WEX staffer adds: “Try the national cocktail, Caipirinha, made from sugarcane hard liquor, sugar and lime, too, for a drink that is always refreshing!”
So Much to Do
More than 90,000 events are held in São Paulo every year, including the São Silvestre Race, which attracts an average of 15,000 runners from about 20 countries. Even a day with nothing out-of-the-ordinary scheduled is a pretty spectacular day in São Paulo, with attractions including the largest mall in Latin America, hundreds of theaters, museums, parks and green areas.
In all, São Paulo is teeming with activity, culture and people. A São Paulo WEXer summed it up: “São Paulo is an example of the key feature of Brazil itself: it is a melting pot when it comes to people and cultures, a vibrant and thriving environment. It’s a city that doesn’t sleep, that also offers an astonishing array of things to do, a mix of landscapes and really amazing people.”
Interested in a career at WEX? Check out open positions on our careers page.