I love these tours where real interaction and enjoyment makes everybody's day. Its so awesome to see our favela to meet foreigners who want to play football, enjoy a bbq and visit the community. Some our guests did not leave the favela until around 7:30pm as they wanted to visit our dj school SPIN ROCINHA and wanted to hang out at one of our local drinking spots..All this during the fever surrounding the World Cup. Above are some fotos from the event! Thanks to Chen Siyuan for some of the fotos.
Gavin Berry was the Scotsman who set this special tour up and also described in his own words, their experience in Rocinha.
Here is his story as written in the "Daily Record and Sunday Mail" one of the UK's biggest newspapers.
GAV wanted to see the real Rio so he paid a visit to the city's biggest favela, Rocinha, and along with his companions they found a warm welcome on the pitch.
Scots Beer Bellies 8 Young Brazilian Peles 24
ENGLAND can relax a bit – there is now a team which has performed even worse than they did at the World Cup.
We were oozing Caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail, from watching their national team the night before while our showboating Samba hosts were simply oozing class.
It was the morning after the night before watching Brazil in action at the Copacabana fan zone and 15 of us stupidly agreed to take on a local side as part of a favela tour.
In hindsight, there was only ever going to be one outcome but what a phenomenal experience (the tour, not the game itself) in what was as big a mismatch as you’re ever likely to witness. We had taken in the must-see tourist attractions in the first few days: a game at the Maracana; Copacabana and Ipanema beaches; the Christ the Redeemer statue and all the great things Rio de Janeiro has to offer.
But we wanted a glimpse of the real Rio. Hearing so many stories of the city’s favelas – shanty towns built high into the mountains – had us questioning whether it was the right thing to do.
So many documentaries, including Ross Kemp on Gangs, had shown these slum communities as complete no-go areas and particularly for outsiders in what are seen as
crime-ridden areas where drug traffickers rule.
Even as our tour guide started talking he was interrupted by a huge bang. We all paused and looked at each other, having heard so many horror stories. But even he laughed as he promised us it was only a firework.
The only shots fired on this occasion were those that rained in on our goal by our slick Samba opponents as they put us to the sword in a humiliating lesson on how the beautiful game should be played.
Never have so many people volunteered to go between the sticks as on this occasion with many fearing they wouldn’t last the pace following a climb to the top of Rocinha – Rio’s largest favela and home to 300,000 people – in the searing heat.
In fact, we now reckon that was a deliberate ploy by our tour guides on behalf of our opponents to tire us out or even pick up an injury as we turned up for a 1pm kick-off – the hottest time of the day – already sweating and out of breath.
It was worth it for the incredible views at the summit, even if it wasn’t the ideal pre-match preparation. We were promised it would be a relaxed affair yet the opposite was true. We arrived to find the locals huddled around their coach receiving tactical information before they went back to the dressing room and emerged in full Brazil team colours of yellow tops and blue shorts.
The sight of that famous kit is enough to send shivers down the spine of any opposition and we were already shaking for very different reasons with some already indulging in a few of the local Brahma beers to cure their hangovers.
Yours truly won the battle to go in goal at the concrete indoor stadium but that was a big mistake. Having shipped three goals inside five minutes, it was the end of my involvement for the day.
To be fair, we were up against their A team in the early part before changing both sides every 20 minutes. As the hosts’ standard dropped, we had a bit more joy.
And for all the teenage Samba stars on show, it was a wee guy from Castlemilk who got the biggest cheer when he nutmegged an opponent. Take a bow, David Thomson, even if the applause from the locals was more out of pity by that stage.
If the myth that favelas are dangerous places was erased from our minds, this performance did nothing to alter the fact the Brazilians are more gifted than us with a ball at their feet. One consolation is that a Frenchman and two Singaporeans were also in our ranks after joining our group so they can at least share some of the blame for our 24-8 Samba slaughtering. After having us on toast for 90 minutes, our hosts then treated us to a barbecue and the one thing we are better than them at – drinking beer – to round off the football part of the tour.
Having exchanged strips and laughed at the sight of young Brazilians in Rangers, Celtic and Scotland tops while sporting See You Jimmy hats, it was back to the serious part of the tour.
Our head guide, Zezinho, met us first thing in the morning and his aim is to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible. That is why he insisted on taking public transport with the 539 bus from the Copacabana taking us high into the hilltop slum.
Covered from top to toe in self-designed tattoos of his beloved favela, he could be an intimidating sight but, just like the community he loves, there is much more to him than meets the eye. He spoke with passion about the people and of the misconception of favelas. As we wandered the narrow streets, there was never any sense of danger, only warmth and genuine appreciation from the locals.
There is a sense of togetherness and neighbours looking out for each other. Everywhere you go people acknowledging each other as they go about their daily business. And favelas have become more popular places to stay due to soaring accommodation prices during the World Cup.
We were shown Rocinha’s only hotel where rates were just £30 a night and the view was as good as you’re likely to get over Rio.
The England team made headlines for paying a visit to the favela but the Three Lions squad ventured only as far as the sports complex at the foot of Rocinha.
As one of our guides said: “Had they gone beyond that, they would have found a city within a city.”
Thankfully, we did
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For more information on football or any other type of tours contact Zezinho at: email@example.com