Rio de Janeiro is a city of contrasts. Stunning stretches of sand juxtaposed with gleaming city highrises, mountains reaching for the sky, and favelas on every slope.
More than slums, they are home to a good portion of the city’s workforce. With homes, shops, restaurants-of-sorts, and ‘law’ enforcement, they are neighbourhoods unto their own albeit not recognized by any city council.
Places like these grow out of need and it is only social policy that will eradicate them, or turn them into viable communities. It will be interesting, and I assume horrifying, to see how the Brazilian government manages these favelas as the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games approach.
Have you been to Rio and seen the favelas? What did you think?