Sunday, July 15, 2012

Favela facination



Wow - just looking at my blog stats it is clear that anything with the word "favela" gets hundreds more page views.

Tip: if you want more traffic on your blog, use the word favela.

For me, I am just grateful that my friend Zezinho is experiencing success with his proudful neighborhood tours in Rocinhia. He is a master, adorable embassador - and the community always shines.

What is the facination with poor communities? The folks are the same. The restaurants are (practically) the same. The beauty shops are the same. The hardware stores are the same. The absense of police patrolling is the same. Mothers calling out to their children is the same. Dogs nuzzling around in trash is the same.

But somehow people have a curiosity about poor communities (favelas). Well, I suppose that is a good thing for Zé - who provides informative and heartfelt tours of his neighborhood (recommended).

If you go - be sure to spend some money in the community. Buy lunch, buy a beer or two, get your nails done, buy a shirt, eat a snack, pay a moto-boy to take you on a fast adventure -- just leave some of your money in the community.

6 comments:

Jennifer Souza said...

Strange phenom to me, but I know that people like to tour 'poor neighborhoods' all over the world.

Anita said...

Tourists from rich countries like to tour "poor neighboorhoods" all over the world. Brazilians tourists when abroad like visiting museums, palaces, cathedrals, castles (and shopping till they drop, humph!).

Anonymous said...

Só gente idiota que tem coragem de visitar uma favela.

Jim said...

Don't agree Anon. There is a lot of COMMUNITY in favelas.

Jim said...

I must say that I was catagorically against tourists touring through favelas -- until I met and became friends with Zezinho, who takes people on cultural experiences in Rocinhia. There is an opportunity for greater understanding for a greater good with some of these tours. I suppose it depends on the guide...

The Reader said...

Someday I want to visit Rocinha/take Zezinho's tour. Having seen enough of the poor little communities local to us, I totally hear you on the fact that it's just community. So true. Like you, I don't want to support something that exploits, but seems like Zezinho's programs educate and bring awareness which is a good thing.

My favorite bits of Brazil are getting out into the little communities that aren't quite favelas but sure aren't rich & wealthy, either. There you meet true Brazilians who define/embody the term "gente boa".