Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we went deeper into the favelas. Favelas are the slums of Salvador. Bruno, our 'tour guide', works with CCS and is there is answer any questions we have.

Questions I asked yesterday about the favelas and the answers I got (Remember this is from one reference):

  • What percentage of the population live in the favelas?
    • 60%
  • What percentage of the population is middle class? Upper class? 
    • 35%; 5%
  • Does the government give support to those in the favelas? 
    • Each home get 214 Reias per month per child. The children must go to school in order to receive the support
  • What do people who live in the favelas do for income? 
    • Men typically work in construction of somesort or have a store front, women do housework and childcare
  • Does Salvador have any plans for the the money it is going to make from the World Cup in 2014? 
    • The poor areas wont see it. 
  • How does Salvador choose their leaders?
    •  Everyone is required to vote, but the politicians are extremely corrupt;
  • Why don't they work a little more on some of roads? (Typically improved infrastructure contributes to a better economy?) They do, they have been working on one motorway for 12 years...

    • Favelas
      Above is a picture of the favelas that we went through. Up close the streets are some of the most poverty stricken streets you've ever seen. I wasn't able to take pictures because it just wasn't safe enough.  When we drive out of Graca (where we are staying which is considered a middle class area) all you see if favelas for miles. You will see these homes stacked with multiple layers. When someone in the family gets married and has their own family, they build on top of the house. There is no building codes, so they aren't very safe. 

      We stopped to see a local artist. Prencie! He does art on tiles, a lot of the stuff is so pretty! Of course I bought a tile. It has a quote on it. You will be able to find it hanging at our house.

      We stopped at the most famous ice cream shop in Salvador! There are ice cream shops everywhere so, that it is a big title to have! I was thinking how much Bryan would love this ice cream stop! =-) 

      One of our last stops was at the Bonfim (Good End) church. This was built in the 1700s by a Portugese travler who hit bad weather when he was coming over to Brazil. He was carrying a large statue of Jesus and began praying and told God if he gave him a 'Good End' to his travels and allow him to live, he would build a house of worship in Brazil.  He survived and built this beautiful church. Religions come together at this church. 

      Inside the church

      In one portion of the church there is a room filled with pictures of people and body parts (wax) hanging from the ceiling. These came from people who prayed for a 'Good End'. Most of them were suffering from some sort of illness and God answered their prayers. These symbolize their 'Thanks.' It is very interesting to see.

      When we visited the church it answered one of the first questions I had when I came here. What the heck are these ribbons for? Here in Salvador you will see ribbons everywhere that say 'Bonfim.' People tie them on their wrist with three knots; for each knot they get a wish. The ribbon must fall off your wrist on its own. If it doesn't then you will have bad luck. 

      There is so much history everywhere we go! I'm learning a lot! 

      Tomorrow is my last day at placement, this week has flown by. It's been an eye opening experience!

      Tchau for now!


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