Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Monday, September 26, 2005

Favela Tour

Went on a tour of the biggest Favela (slum) in Rio today called Rochina. There are 220,000 people living in this Favela and there are approx another 250 Favela´s in Rio. They reckon that 20% of Rio´s population lives in these slums - quite an amazing figure...

The tour was fantastic. Got picked up at the hostel and were brought to the base of the mountain (all slums are built on mountain sides) where we had to change to motorbikes to get to the top. A little bit of a white knuckle ride!

Once we were at the top the guide led us down through the Favela and we got to see how people live. They´ve got everything normal - shops, bars, community centres etc it´s just that they´re not regular buildings. They´re buildings thrown on top of one another, built with whatever material they could find and because there is no space to buy land they buy each other´s roof and put their place on that...

The best place to live is at the top of the mountain as the further down you go the narrower the laneways get (they are only one person wide) and the less facilities they have ie clean running water...

All of the Favela´s are run by 3 drug barons who have up to 500 people in each Favela´s working for them. These people could be dealers, guards with guns or 8 year old kids paid to lookout for police and set off fireworks to warn the dealers if they see any.
It´s hard for the kids to turn down the ´job offer´as they can earn up to r$600 (250 euro) a month which is more than their parents can earn working a normal job.

Saying this, everyone we met and saw in the Favela were lovely and smiley but that´s because the company we were with donate 60% of the tour cost to the favela and have set up community centres and help to rebuild homes that have fallen apart...

It was such an eye opener and a complete culture shock from beautiful copacabana... probably the best thing we´ve done in Rio...


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    Matthias Rupp

    Stud. Hilfskraft

    Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg

    Abteilung Geographie

    Im Neuenheimer Feld 561

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    By Anonymous Matthias, at 12:25 AM  

  • 20% no no 60% leave in favela in rio

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM  

  • I am from Rocinha and you can read my opinions about what I think about favela tours.

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    By Blogger lifeinrocinha, at 3:04 AM  

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