A description of the largest of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro; Rocinha, where 100,000 people live. The former wooden shacks have been upgraded to permanent dwellings with some modern services, and residents constantly improve their homes through a process of 'self-help'. We are introduced to a typical Rocinha family who migrated to Rio from the countryside. The family members describe how they make a living, and reflect on the quality of life in the favela.
Students could take notes under the headings of Geraldo, Leandro and Clothilda. What do these characters think about living in Rochina? List the positives and negatives. Consider services and support available to people living in favelas. To what extent does the Brazilian state provide for them? Students could sketch a typical slum dwelling, annotating key features, and then add improvements. They should then compare this housing with their own.
They could look into how the 2016 Rio Olympics might affect people in Rochina.