Sunday, May 10, 2009


What is Rocinha? Rocinha is a place of continuous activities and diferent people. It is like a cell that never stops. A city inside a city. Aplace of about 250,000 people in 780 square metres. So, yes it is crowded.

Yes, Rocinha is a "favela". but this is my home. 

A friend of mine brought this thing to my attention and now this make me think. I am brazilian-american. If I want I can live anywheres in the USA or Brazil. I am very lucky to have this oportunity.

So, the other day a friend asks me, "You have the choice to live anywhere, why a place like Rocinha?" I had to stop and really think about this. The good and bad of living in the US and living in Rocinha. 

First some background. 

Rocinha is my home, where I was born and raised and mold as a child. Growing up was dificult but I did not know any diferent. The thing that complicated life was knowing in society that I was diferent. Brazilian society teaches you that from a young age. If you are from the "morro", you are worth less, at least the outside world treats you like this. I can now understand why very few who live in favelas venture outside, other then to go to and come home from work. There is not much mixing of the classes. Yes, I can work as your housekleener but I will never be seen or treated equal to you. 

As a teenager I resented the upper classes, not becase they had things, but becase they were always assumed to be "good" and favelados were always seemed to be bad. They had every oportunity handed to them and we were never given equal oportunity. So, yes I grew up with resentments. What makes them beter than us, money?

My father told me of a time he went outside the favela to find work. He worked  in construction as do most men in the favelas. Rio was built on the backs of favelados! He went to a job and there was him and two other guys. All the guys got hired for the job but my father was paid half of what the other were paid becase his work was not considered equal becase he lived in a favela.  This sucks but still exists today!  

After eating with some friends of mine last night, one of them made the comment "ignorance and fear breed hate", this is so true! I have lived that statement my whole life. I read on the internet comments from forums, or hear in the street or words directed at me full of descrimnation based on fears people have inside themselves (media brainwashing). Cant people think for themselves and do research before forming a opinion about something they know little or nothing about?

Do people really believe that EVERYBODY  who lives in a favela is BAD? Closed minded people. I can open my mind, can you open yours? I am willing to learn about you and your life, are you willing to learn about me? 

So, back to some history about me, I have lived in both the US and Rocinha, Brazil. I am older now and question where I think I can be most happy. First I need to find out what makes me happy. The things that make me happy are family, friends, working and having a purpose in life.

I think for me having a purpose is number one.  What are we all doing here? i used to think it was about having nice things and all but now, I do not care about this. I want life to be simple not complicated. I want to be surrounded by family, friends and people that care about me as I do them. In the US, I do not have that. I have NO family here and no real purpose. In the US all I do is work and its very lonely becase people do not have time to socialize like they do in Brazil.

I would rather be poor and be surrounded by family and friends then be rich and have nobody.

The next Blog I will talk more about what I think my purpose is in the life and I believe I found it!