Inside Rio De Janeiro – “The Favelas”

Inside Rio De Janeiro – “The Favelas”

First, we must understand the reality of the favelas. These neighborhoods were built illegally by the poorest classes, who needed a place to live but who obviously couldn’t afford to buy regular houses. Let’s say that each one built his house with the help of cousins, friends, ​​and neighbors. The infrastructures were poor, the access was difficult, the urban planning was non-existent (urban planning in a favela?), and the services were precarious. To understand this reality, we must go back to the times of slavery, or today’s social differences and racism. If you take a tour around the favela, you’ll see that many of its inhabitants are black. If you take a tour around Ipanema, you’ll see that most inhabitants are white. And that’s a fact.

Historically, these slums have been controlled by the narcos, who often fought among themselves to take over more favelas and extend their territories. Because favelas were “illegal” constructions within the city, there wasn’t much control over what was happening inside them, and the police forces never showed up. Let’s say that the favelas had their own laws.

Due to the World Cup and the Olympics (although the idea had been implemented earlier), the Rio government decided to implement a plan to pacify the favelas, remove narcos, create a safer city, and, of course, start levying taxes and electricity bills on millions of people who previously hadn’t paid for such things.

In the beginning, it looked like the pacification was a great success. Many favelas became safe, new businesses flourished, and everything seemed perfect. Of course, not everyone was happy. If you ask the inhabitants of a favela what they think about these changes (the pacification, the gringos living there, etc.), a lot of them will tell you that it’s the best thing that has happened to them, that they have opened a small restaurant or a hostel, and so are doing quite well. Others will tell you that it’s a total disaster, that the rents have increased while the inhabitants have the same low-paid jobs and can no longer live there. The reality now is that there are more foreigners (and Brazilians from other regions) living in the favelas. There is a lot of talk about the subject. What’s the impact of pacification? Who benefits from it? Is it safe to live in a favela?

There are several Favelas in Brazil and I want you to know things about them.

• NOT ALL FAVELAS ARE THE SAME

•THEY HAVE A VIBRANT CULTURE

•THEY WORK AS A COMMUNITY

•THEY HAVE THE BEST VIEWS

•THEY KNOW HOW TO PARTY

•THE PACIFICATION DIDN’T WORK

•THERE ARE NO ROBBERIES

•GENTRIFICATION

The creation of hostels and apartments for foreigners is speeding the process of gentrification in many communities. Real estate speculation and the government’s interest in collecting more taxes have caused prices in the favelas to soar. 

•THERE ISN’T MUCH PRIVACY

•THE SERVICES ARE BAD

Despite some improvements, the primary services are poor in most communities. The water quality is usually bad, power cuts are common, and the sewage system needs a redesign. On the other hand, it’s true that pacification and the “normalization” of these neighborhoods have brought some improvements. Social investments have been made, and there have been electrical installations, sanitation improvements, etc.

•THE PEOPLE ARE INCREDIBLE

Wow wow wow all I can say is it’s a beautiful place.

Shout out to Miguel of TravelSauro

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