Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, is located by the Great Guaiba Lake. Its hills, parks, squares, and sidewalks change colors with each of the four well-defined seasons. Hot and humid during the summer, the temperature sometimes goes below zero in the winter. The history of Porto Alegre dates back to 1752, when a group of 60 couples from the Portugese Azores Islands began building huts by the Guaiba Lake. Later, Germans came to settle in the region and the city developed commercially, with factories and extensive agriculture. Due to its vast pastures, present-day Porto Alegre produces tobacco and raises much livestock. It is also home to other successful industries such as foodstuff, wool, and metal-working. Porto Alegre is the third-ranking Brazilian city in international trade. LACADOR, a bronze statue representing the "gaucho" farmer dressed up in his typical work clothes, serves as a welcome symbol for all the city's visitors and sunset over the Guaiba is the pride and joy of the gauchos. Open doors and warm welcomes are the oldest customs in the land which is called Porto Alegre, "Happy Harbor."
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