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Rio de Janeiro: Working in the Rocinha favela

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View over Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela that was taken back by the police in November 2011.

EDITOR’S BLOG: Favela volunteer projects. I just posted a story about a visit in Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha. Great urban adventure that is highly recommended by the Traveling Reporter. Then I happen to stumble over a blog post on Lonely Planet by someone called “CahillDesign”, about how to find work in a Rio favela. As some of you may have heard, walking around in these shantytowns might not be the best idea. However, as I wrote in my story, the police are working hard to increase security and chase out drug runners. Sometimes with good results, often with bad.

Anyhow, this “CahillDesign” character apparently did find a way to land himself – or is it herself? –  two favela volunteer projects inside Rocinha, about the safest favela there is, so I thought I’d let the readers of the Traveling Reporter in on the method, too.

This is how “CahillDesign” did (from Lonely Planet Thorn Tree travel forum):

Spent a month in Rio. Got tired of the beach everyday and the same old same old and ran into a Brit that was doing volunteer work in a favela in Rio. Looked into and joined the program he was in. It is this awesome org called Project Favela. They have a site I contacted the director Scott and after talking with him he placed me in a 2 different projects. Both in Rocinha, which is just incredible. I developed a website for one NGO, taught English and a course on graphic design in another and worked with a project that teaches kids from the favel to surf. I have to say volunteering in the favela took this vacation over the top. Project Favela was awesome and Scott turned me onto many must do’s in Rio off the beaten path.

Brazil’s Military Police in the Rocinha favela, Rio. Photo:

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.