sabato 25 ottobre 2014


Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro is recognized as the largest urban slum in Brazil, with about 200,000 people living here. It developed from a shanty town into an urbanized slum. Today, almost all the houses in Rocinha are made from concrete and brick. Some buildings are three and four stories tall and almost all houses have basic sanitation, plumbing, and electricity. Compared to simple shanty towns or slums, Rocinha has a better developed infrastructure and hundreds of businesses such as banks, medicine stores, bus lines, cable television, including locally based channel TV ROC (TV Rocinha), and, at one time, a McDonalds franchise. These factors help classify Rocinha as a favela bairro, or favela neighbourhood.

Rocinha, situated on a steep hillside one kilometer from the famous beaches of Rio, is densely crowed, connected by a complex maze of narrow alleyways. From their homes perched in this hillside favela, Rocinha’s poor can look onto San Conrado, one of Rio’s most exclusive neighborhoods. The juxtaposition of tremendous wealth and extreme poverty, as is the case with many neighborhoods in Rio, calls attention to the country’s serious income disparity and the complex challenges that exist between people of both worlds.

In November 2011, a security operation was executed where hundreds of police and military patrolled the streets of Rocinha to crackdown on rampant drug dealers and bring government control to the neighbourhood.

All images © Jared lim

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