Unidos do Mundo

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Unidos do Mundo
The colors of Unidos do Mundo represent the earth with blue (ocean), green (forests), and red (the people).
Group type Traditional samba school
Website http://www.unidosdomundo.com
Date founded 1999
Current membership 500
Country Brazil
State Rio de Janeiro
City Rio de Janeiro

Unidos do Mundo is a samba school which periodically forms in Rio de Janeiro in order to parade members from samba schools from around the world. The first parade was in 2000 taking place in the Sambadrome as the opening for the Parade of Champions in Rio celebrating the millennium.


The project was started by David de Hilster in 1998 while running the website [1], he started contacting samba schools around the world about meeting in the year 2000 in Rio de Janeiro. In the beginning, there were no plans as to what would happen in Rio. After a failed attempt in 1998 with carnaval people in Rio, de Hilster contacted the webmaster of the official wesbite for LIESA (the League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro) about the foreign samba school's desire to meet in Rio. The webmaster Alessandra Pirotelli liked the idea and thus, Unidos do Mundo was born.

Alessandra prepared a project to be presented to Brazil's cultural department in the country's capital Brasilia about forming an international samba school and parading in the Sambadrome as the opening for the day of the champions in Rio's famed Sambadrome and the project was not only funded, it was the only millennial cultural project to be given a standing ovation.


From 1998 until early March of 2000, preparations were made designing costumes, floats, and the all important samba theme song. The international samba schools picked Martinho da Vila to write the samba theme song (samba enredo) for Unidos do Mundo. Organizing through the internet, the members bought their plane tickets, paid a fee to help with costume expenses, and weeks before the parade, starting arriving in Rio.

Fundição Progresso, a large cultural space in downtown Rio served as the practice space (quadra) for the school where both gringos and Brazilians gathered to create the first ever international samba school in Brazil. Practices also took place at Beija-Flor Samba School in Nilopolis.

Parade of Champions

On March 9, 2000, Unidos do Mundo entered the Sambadrome and paraded for over an hour, filling the entire runway with the energy and talents of sambistas from around the world.

Celebrity Participation

Numerous samba celebrities voluntarily participated in the project including Neiguinho da Beija-Flor, Beth Carvalho, Carlinhos de Jesus, and Martinha da Vila to name a few. Beija-Flor Samba School also lent its bateria directors and quadra in Nilopolis as a practice space for Unidos do Mundo.


The key people involved in the event were David de Hilster (founder and international director), Alessandra Pirotelli (national director), Pavão (carnavaleso), the Brazilian Department of Culture, Beija-Flor Samba School, and Fundição Progresso.


A smaller less ambitious Unidos do Mundo took place in the year 2001 when members from SambaLa Samba School and the London School of Samba gathered for workshops and a parade in Rio. This time, the parade was in downtown Rio de Janeiro.


David de Hilster is spearheading a movement to make Unidos do Mundo an annual event alternating in Rio and Sao Paulo. The plans will be announced in the summer of 2017. Where the practice will take place and where the group will parade is yet to be determined. Everything will be announced and coordinated via the Unidos do Mundo website.


  1. Official homepage: www.unidosdomundo.com
  2. YouTube videos: https://youtube.unidosdomundo.com
  3. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Unidos-do-Mundo-1817910915125816