Thursday, October 14, 2010


The other day Me and Toni visited the Favela Rocinha. Rocinha is the largest favela in Rio and is home to around a quarter of a million people. It is located past Ipanema and Leblon and before Barra de Tijuca. The word Favela is the name of a tree that grows on mountains. When the slaves were freed in Brasil there was a time when they could not own land and they could not find work. Because of this they built here temporary communities on the mountain side. As more and more people came to the city and could not afford housing there towns became larger and more permanent. In the 70's the government tried to destroy there favelas but were unsuccessful because the people did not want to leave and the government did not have the money to building affordable housing for them. The Government now more or less accepts Favelas into society and supplies them with water and electricity. The favelas have businesses and stores like any other town. Because of the twisting and turning small alleys and streets most of the houses can only be reached on foot.

The favelas have little to none police pr essence. Because of this the drug trade has flourished there. This of course has led to crime and shootings. The police do raid the favelas now but it is almost impossible with the way the favelas are organized to really police them. As soon as the arrest one drug trafficker there are a line of others that will take there place.

Many people do live and work in the favelas. A lot of the facionistas ( domestic help ) and lesser income workers live in the favelas. The favelas are a fact of life in Rio.

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