Rocinha Favela

Rocinha Favela(shanty town/빈민촌), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It looked like stars in the mountains. Then I realized that it was the Rocinha favela.
Rocinha Favela is the biggest Favela in South America

Rio de Janeiro isn’t all glamourous.
This city is a big mixture between the very rich/posh area and favelas.
In other cities of Brazil, favelas are generally located outside of the city.
But here in Rio, because of its geography (high rock mountains are here and there in the city), favelas are often located in the city, sometimes just next to the rich area. Rocinha favela is one of those exemples. Rochinha is the biggest favela in the South America.They say that’s why Rio can be dangerous.

Indeed, I didn’t feel confortable to be alone in Rio, especially at night. For some area (like near the bus station), I didn’t do walk alone, even during the day. Even for many brazilians, they’ve never been in favela.
Favela is regarded as a dangerous ghetto, “their” world.

I participated a tour to Favela. There are some associations who organize a tour to Favela. It’s not very cheap. But 60% of your money is donated to run a free nursery facility for the local kids. It’s not a tour in a car. Each person takes a motocycle to reach the top of favela. Then walk down with a guide.

I was very happy to do this. And I recommend this tour to those who visits Rio de Janeiro. You can learn much more than that famous statue of Christ.

You’ll see that Favela isn’t one whole danger and ugliness. In Favela,there are their own rules and lives. Of course, there’s no sanitary system. It stinks. No adress because all houses are officially illegal. It’s a big mess around the electric post. Everyone ‘steals’ the electricity by connecting their cable to the post. There’s no policeman. It’s no policeman’s land. That’s why so many drug traffics are going in favela. Actually I saw two policeman during the tour. The guide said that they were sitiing on the city side (not favela). You can buy and sell drugs in front of them. Because the policeman were for stopping the fights or violence, they have nothing to do with the drug. Very strange, but true. There are some drug dealers. They might be armed. You’d better watch out. But most of people are just normal poor people who didn’t have an opportunity to have a good education.

When I was on the Ipanema beach at the sunset, I saw a beautiful lights in the mountains. It looked like stars in the mountains. Then I realized that it was the Rocinha favela.

 
An article on Rocinha favela:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/apr/17/brazil.garethchetwynd

Painting in the pictures above is from http://www.artfavela.com