These tours of the Favelas are officially sanctioned as a means for bringing the reality of their character as well as lifestyle to a wider audience and for improving their reputation. That's what we were told and there was nothing in the lack of interest or curiosity to our presence to suggest otherwise. There clearly are numerous daily tours and apart from those who gave us wide smiles or wished us a good morning there was no indication of hostility or any other negative response to our traipsing around their world.
The population of greater Rio is about 9 million and about 20% (or a total of 1,800,000 people) resides in a Favela. There are 950 Favelas in Rio and we visited two of them. One is the largest in the city with a community that ranges from 80,000 to 250,000 depending upon what figures are used. It is the only one in the city with roads running through it and therefore with access to the public bus system. The other Favela is far smaller with a community of about 2,800.
It is extraordinary how the Favelas sit side by side with very wealthy elements in the city.
Here are several images.
|Commerce looked to be thriving in this Favela|
|Narrow lane ways, twists and turns|