São Leopoldo is located in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, 40 km away from the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, part of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
By Brazilian standards, it is a midsized city and home to 211,000 inhabitants (IBGE/2009), covering an area of 102.31 km².
The town has a very diverse economy with highlights including the metal-mechanic industry, commerce and a technological hub focused on the production of inputs linked to Information Technology.
São Leopoldo is considered the cradle of German immigration in Brazil. In 1824 it received its initial German immigrants and became the first urban centre in a vast region stretching from the boundaries of Porto Alegre to the southern slopes of the Gaucho Highlands. Practically all the cities in the Vale do Rio dos Sinos region began as a result of São Leopoldo.
Despite its honored origins in German immigration, today São Leopoldo is a very cosmopolitan town, with inhabitants that can trace back their roots to a number of ethnicities and regions in the country. The population is made up of students who came from afar to study at the University of the Sinos Valley-Usinos, and the Higher Education School of Technology-EST, educational institutions renowned nationwide, and workers who arrived to boost the labor force in local industries. Added to the already existing population, they form a cultural melting pot that can best be described as diverse and dynamic.