My life living in the biggest favela in Rio de Janeiro. I want to assist educate people about the realities the life here. There is much misinformation around favelas and also we who live here.

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I an initial met Elliot once he concerned visit and wanted to watch what the favela was every about. He asked me about our tourism business and also opportunities. I expressed to him that any business that employs or help the favela is welcome. I want to help people who perform not desire to manipulate the favela. As lengthy as the favela benefits, ns ok with people wanting to have actually businesses here. I have a very solid reputation below in the community and dont want to be viewed as somebody help outsiders take advantage in a an adverse way.

I obtain monthly about 2-3 emails the people, typically foreigners spring to find places to stay. Many of them are taking part in some volunteer task here in Rocinha. I operation the tourism and also the Dj institution Spin Rocinha and my time is minimal as these 2 things store me really busy. As soon as I met Elliot and heard about his ideas of homestays and also helping come find world places to continue to be inside the Rocinha, I assumed we could work with each other well. Ns told him the I will send all the civilization I get in my emails, come him and also he can devote his time to this project. So, Favela experience was started.

Where room you from?I"m native the US--I to be born and also raised in Los Angeles, California, and I many recently i graduated college in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Can you tell us a tiny about your background, schooling, etc.?I had actually a privileged and also fortunate upbringing, and I an initial became important interested in travel and also foreign societies in high school. Ns was among those children who in reality paid attention in Spanish class, and I ended up walk on part month-long summer exchange program in Spain and also Argentina to enhance my Spanish. Ns was embraced to the college of Virginia for my undergraduate studies, however I chose I wasn"t prepared for college, so ns deferred join for a year to take it a "gap year." In that time, ns volunteered v a non-profit in Chile where I taught English and also computers come "at-risk" youth in ~ a community center in Santiago. That endure was developmental for me, yet I came to be frustrated by the inefficiency and also localized nature of a traditional, grassroots non-profit reliant top top donations and also grants.So, ns arrived to college discovering I want to have actually a huge social impact in mine life but that I likewise wanted to make a great living because that myself and future family. I conveniently got affiliated with a student organization that provides complimentary business consulting to worldwide non-profits and also for-profits with social missions. V that endure I ended up being interested in the principle of social entrepreneurship, using service approaches to resolving social and also environmental problems. In ~ the same time, i was finding out Portuguese in school and studied overseas for six months in Sao Paulo. Throughout that time, i took trips about the totality country and fell in love with Brazil, an especially Rio, and I knew I had to come back. Still, after returning to the US and entering the undergraduate organization program at my university in my 3rd year, ns imagined I"d sign up with my partner to work at a top consulting certain or investment financial institution when i graduated, however hopefully in Brazil.

How walk you uncover Rocinha?I came to be disillusioned v the this firm recruiting procedure at my school, yet I knew the the summer (June-August) internship prior to students" last year of college is so crucial in the US. I had received uses from a consulting firm and a venture resources firm the invests in for-profit social enterprises about the world and was going to place me at among its investment portfolio companies near Sao Paulo. Despite it wasn"t Rio, I followed my heart and also went come Sao Jose dos Campos where I learned a lot working at a technology startup emerging an online finding out platform for Brazilian windy schools. The course, ns still controlled to take it the five-hour bus ride practically every weekend native Sao Jose dos Campos come Rio whereby I"d invest time v my girlfriend from college who was in the city. One day he called me he"d been emailing Zezinho, who he discovered out about through CouchSurfing. He claimed Zezinho lived in and also gave tours of Rocinha, the biggest favela in Latin America, and also that he to be going to fulfill him in the favela. I ended up going with my girlfriend to cave out with Zezinho in ~ his apartment in Rocinha. We talked a lot about Favela Adventures and also Spin Rocinha, and I was really impressed and interested in Zezinho"s story. I preserved in touch through Zezinho, and also I knew over there was several potential in favela tourism, especially with the coming human being Cup and Olympics in Rio.

Why Rocinha?That very first moment i looked up at Rocinha, i was fascinated by this vivid city in ~ a city. There"s a particular unparalleled energy in Rocinha that I"ve never ever felt before. You feeling it in the buzz that the human being in the alleys, the samba, funk, and also forro blaring indigenous the windows, the odor of churrasco grilling in ~ every corner, and the wind that the mototaxis zipping by girlfriend on the street. You truly have actually to concerned Rocinha to experience it! ~ above the other hand, the government’s ignore of and also society’s discrimination against favelas renders life difficult for Rocinha residents. When this is true that favelas in general, Rocinha’s size, fame, and also position between Rio’s many exclusive neighborhoods means there’s numerous opportunity here. In particular, this is true for campaigns that leverage Rocinha’s unique society to boost the resides of residents.

Can you explain why you chose on beginning a business here?In talk to Zezinho, it was clear that visitors wanted come go past tours the favelas and also actually continue to be in favelas to much more deeply suffer them, yet it was really hard to uncover housing. Having personally invested a year in various homestays (private bedrooms in family members homes) around Latin America, ns knew homestays room the best means for foreigners to immerse themselves in a new culture and develop relationships with neighborhood people. Simultaneously, many favela tourism, various other than institutions like Favela Adventures, contributes small to the economic advance of favelas, and also at worst, perpetuates stereotypes and also outright exploits communities. So, with Zezinho’s support, I chose to try to carry out authentic homestays and also apartment rentals because that visitors, which create livelihoods for favela host families.

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Explain a little about your objective with "Favela Experience?"Favela experience is a society enterprise the is transforming travel to make it much more authentic and also meaningful for travelers and more beneficial for developing communities. We desire our guest from about the human being to experience the riches of favela culture—to share home cooked meals with hosts, watch football matches together, and also even walk to a baile funk together. Native this, us think us can double the incomes of favela host families, so they have the right to invest in your health, housing, and also education. Ultimately, we hope come facilitate cross-cultural understanding while providing avenues for marginalized people.

What execute you see in the future for "Favela Experience?"We’re building up our basic of listings and also launching a crowdfunding project at the end of the year come coincide through the illustration for the civilization Cup and the holiday season. Ours crowdfunding project will pre-sell discounted continues to be for the human being Cup and allow anyone who can’t come to still contribute to ours cause. Please aid us spread out the word about our campaign! to get campaign updates and discounts, please: