From a tourists vision of Latin American society and culture , there is a whirlwind blur of stereotypes from Carnaval in Rio, Incas in Macchu Picchu, dental-floss bikinis, Argentinan steak, Cachaca rum, Salsa, beautiful beaches and not to forget the beautiful toned beach bodys. But beyond this one-dimensional mirage, as travellers our knowledge of what truly constitutes South America is comparable to really knowing what a Vice President actually does.
Like many third world metropolis’s, Rio de Janeiro is currently experiencing a dramatic increase in population due to the rural poor migrating to the cities. Yet this is a trend that has long been expected to occur with reports dating from 1988* consolidating that 127 million Latin Americans would be living in the cities between the years 1985 and 2000 and that this trend would set to continue. Consequently due to the high land values and the enormous demand for space, the poor are forced into squatter settlements, known as favelas.
Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s largest favela (slum). Other than the horrific quantity of drug trafficking that haunts this working-class district, another challenging issue it faces is its inability to provide appropriate education for its youth. This calender gives a small insight of the lives of the children that live in this drug-ridden hillside favela.
Yet despite the demanding and hard living-circumstances these children face, the energy, excitement and pure sense of hope they embody proves that money truly doesn’t buy happiness.