I know what many might think but favelas are not all crime and misery. Many of Rio de Janeiro's middle class live in these communities.
I live in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio and we are opening a different themed type hostel or guesthouse.
The idea is to attract guests who want to participate in some type of activity in the community.
This way both the guest and community benefit from the interaction. I have connections with over 25 different projects here who are open to receive those people who want to volunteer or create projects here.
The projects are based in art, music, dance, sports, education. All you need to do is let us know what type of activity you would like to get involved and we can organize this for you. There is NO cost or fee to pay for volunteering as we are not a volunteer agency. You only pay for your stay in the hostel. We will connect you to the project if you stay in the community. We find its better for both the guest and the project if you are staying in the community to benefit from this cultural exchange. Some Portuguese or Spanish is good to know on a basic level but you will learn as you go and the residents in Rocinha will help you.
Our hostel is centrally located in the community, has 4 floors, a living room, 3 bedrooms (total of 8 beds), a good sized kitchen, 3 bathrooms, and an awesome rooftop with a BBQ and Sound system. WiFi on 3 floors and all amenities. Close to transportation which includes 3 bus lines, Metro (subway to get downtown), Vans and Moto taxis. Rocinha has 3 banks with ATM's, 24 hours restaurants which include Sushi and Pizza places, over 6,500 businesses that serve this community. There is police in the community and its safe. On the weekends there are many parties and events going on that you can take part in.
Current guests include An American guy studying at a local university, teaching English and studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, A guy from Cape Verde who works as a tour guide and loves exploring nature around Rio, A woman from Italy who operates biking and adventures tours in Italy and A guy from Belgium teaching Drumming at the music school, teaching English and studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Last month we had a girl from the UK teaching contemporary dance and Hip Hop at a project here. So there are many opportunities for visitors to get invioved with projects here. We just connected with a community painting project and a hip hop group that welcomes dancers from all over the world. If interested in architecture Nova Urbis welcomes volunteers but you must be able to make a 2-3 month comittment. Other projects are flexible but most guests stay here a minimum of 2 weeks.
If you have interest to find out more please contact me, Zezinho at : visitrocinha (at) gmail (dot) com