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.
Pupils 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. They could also sketch a typical slum dwelling (pause a scene to help in this task), annotating key features, and then add improvements in a different colour pen. They could research other 'self-help' schemes, comparing them to 'site and service' schemes, and comprehensive redevelopment schemes. An extension task might be to ask how the 2016 Olympics might affect people in Rochina.