mega-launch of “To Belém & Back” in Coral Gables, FL

Steve Mayo, Ingrid King, Phillipe King, Herb Walker, Moi, Marc ManfrediThe US launch of To Belém & Back in Coral Gables last month was great fun.  Apparently 62 people attended and, thanks to generous sponsors, we were able to give away 50 books for free.  I am deeply honored that over 30 friends came by.

After introductions – first by my friend Nancy Bolton, who so kindly got the ball rolling between her Americas Society, the Brazilian Consulate, and Earthdog Press; then Ambassador Ramos’s very gracious introduction of me – I was able to read several pages, after which the Americas Society’s Madeleine Johnson kindly lead a Q&A session.  A few photos were taken, including with other visiting dignitaries, the Consuls General of Netherlands and Colombia.  Then, during book signings, caipirinhas and pão de queijos were generously distributed, to the inland tunes of forró, pagode, and samba, expertly chosen by my friend Jim Bulgatz.  Special thanks go the Cultural Attaché Fernando Arrudo, who was instrumental in bringing in so many sponsors, including the Coral Gables Museum, Banco do Brasil, Leblon Cachaça, and Bread Brasil.  The album, whose photos except for the last were kindly shot by Russell Harstein, is more or less in chronological order.

For those who couldn’t make it, paperbacks are available at Books & Books and most easily online at Amazon, from where the digital eBook (with all of the photos that were hung for the launch at the Coral Gables Museum) is most easily downloaded.  [see thumbnails for captions]

About ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

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