If you really want to see how the locals live, do a walking Favela Tour- a.k.a. the slums, where there are no addresses. The people here used to not have clean running water, but the conditions have now vastly improved. While walking around, we even saw some houses with flat screen TV's- not what we expected or imagined. Though, there are also small alleyways that have human excrements, so be careful what you step on. It was also interesting to learn that most of the neighborhoods are controlled by drug dealers as opposed to the police- the police don't have much power here. Hence, the locals would look to the drug dealers and form an alliance in order to resolve any issues. We found out that rent can cost anywhere from $120 for a small space per month, up to $1,300 USD for a large dwelling, you can see that there's a big discrepancy. Overall, it was a very enlightening experience and I highly recommend it.
By Denise Hoo
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Nossa Senhora de Boa Viajem - Estr. da Gávea, 445 - Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22451-262, Brazil
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