What are Brazil Favelas?

The Favela, also written as Favella, is the name given to the slums or slums in and around the big cities of Brazil. There are many favelas existing in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. A favela exists when the homeless or squatters occupy vacant land and build their homes from things they can get from scavenging. Today millions of Brazilians live in these labyrinths of barracks. About 6% of the entire Brazilian population lives in Favelas according to the 2010 Census.

  1. Historical role

It was during the 1800s when around the 20,000 veteran soldiers they had moved from Canudos to Rio de Janeiro. These soldiers had no place to live. Therefore, when they settled on the Providence hill in Rio, they called the place as Favela. The slums sprang up more rapidly than the general population and the development of the cities grew. Later, after the end of the era of slavery, many Latin Americans and slaves came to settle in the vicinity of these bustling cities and formed several urban neighborhoods or favelas. During the 1940s and 1950s, people from rural Brazil came to make their fortune in the big cities and settled in Favelas near the cities. Although these settlements were close to the big cities, however the slums received no attention from the government in terms of sanitation and electricity.

  1. Modern examples

Rocinha is the largest favela in Brazil in Brazil with an unofficial estimate of the 180,000 people who live here. Vila Aliança, Penha, Vila Nova and others are located near the city of Rio De Janeiro. There are many settlements near Sao Paulo, as well as those of Heliopolis, Mauro, Campinho and others. The big problem that afflicts these large cities and the presence of these settlements is the thriving drug-trafficking sector. Not everyone is poor now, and many of them also consider it a matter of pride to live in the places where they and their respective families came from.

  1. Drugs, law and order

Many favelas of Brazilian cities are affected by some of the worst crime rates in the Latin American world. The western suburbs of Rio are the hub of drug trafficking and the presence of armed Bandidosmakes the place quite risky. In view of the Rio 2016 Olympics, the peacemaking police unit, or UPP, is active in trying to improve security around these neighborhoods. These gangs of drug traffickers hire young boys of school age, and the fact that the drug trade is a thriving business has made things quite difficult. Around 12,000 residents in a medium-sized favela are involved in gangs and drug trafficking due to a lack of education and job opportunities in other fields. These young boys got all sorts of weapons from hand grenades to machine guns to make a living.

  1. Favela Culture and daily life

While many favelas have yet to be pacified, but the act of pacifying and transforming a favela has begun. With various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) intervening to change the lives of people in favela, schools and other craft and self-employment tools have emerged. Several residents of these favelas play an important role in making the Rio Carnival famous too. Many favelas are even famous for the colorful pictorial patterns of their homes (like the ones in Santa Marta in the photo above), and the visual art, music, dance and other forms of culture that their streets exude. The favelas are often also hotbeds for devout Brazilian Christianity, both Catholic and, increasingly in recent years, Protestant.

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