Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Website and Rocinha happenings!

I have finally completed the much work and getting all the people together in Rocinha to release this idea..

The website: or

I am determined and committed to making sure people in the favela get their oportunity. There is so much potential with all of us working together.

The website has about 30 pages so please take a look. Very important is to read our Mission statement and our Vision for the future in Rocinha.

When I return to Rio, I will be talking with a guy who live in another favela and how I can help him to help his comunity! I told him I have ideas but I can not do it for you. He can use my ideas no problem becase he is a "favelado com muito orgulho". Like me, he is very proud of his roots. I trust him and know he sincerely wants to make a positive diference in his comunity.

On my site there is several sections. The first one is about the tours I offer to my guests/friends. If you come here in Rocinha you will be treated to much more than a tour. This is the largest section as I have sections that explain the history of favelas, Rocinha, Samba and Funk music. Also there are diferent types of visits people experience in Rocinha.

I have a testimonial area where previos visitors talk about their personal experence in the comunity. I have even added a forum. So you can join and post whatever you like. If you have visited a favela before or Rocinha, I would like to know your story.

The second section is for those people who may want to come and stay in the favela..I will help you find accomodation, give you a tour of the neighborhood and give you ideas of what activities you can do here.

Section three is the cultural programs or Favela Adventures where guests can stay in the comunity and study a number of activities. Right now we have 7 activities. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Capoeira, Judo, Muay-Thai & Western Boxing, Surfing, Bodyboarding and portuguese language. As time goes on there are other activities, I will add.

Section four is the non profit I started with two other Americans Arthur Hamilton and Andy Silva in California. The purpose of the non profit is to raise money to build a comunity center for Arts and Culture programs in Rocinha. We welcome anyone who has interest to volunteer.

Section five, I have dedicated to my friend Tio Lino who has donated 29 years of his life to teaching kids art in Rocinha. He is born and raised resident and works tirelessly to help kids out of trouble.

So please take some time and check out my website and tell me what you think? :)

If there is anything you want to know about life here in Rocinha, send your questions to me at:



Friday, August 21, 2009


Lately I have been receiving contacts from people who seem to talk a good game but not back it up! I am tired of talk. Places like Rocinha need lots of help in diferent areas.

Anybody who knows me, knows how much I really care and love Rocinha. There is so much unused potential in this comunity which is why I feel necessary to try to find this talents and show them to the outside world. I was given this ability and I need to focus on this.

So, I receive emails from people who want to know my ideas. I then tell them and next thing I know, they take my ideas and use them for their own profit. Again without giving back something to me or the favela.

So this company in Europe first contacted me in may about setting up some activity, but not inside the favela but outside. I did the wrong thing in telling him he should try to offer this type of programs in the favela (which I think is good). When I spoke with him he wanted assurances from me as he felt the favela was not safe, ok, understandable. But I explained to him that as a resident, i can do things here that outsiders can not. He seemed so against it so, I let it go as he will do his programs elsewhere.

I receive a email from him a few days a ago. So, before responding, I checked his website. He had found his people to do his programs but the thing that upset me is that he used my ideas.
If I had not in the first place ever mentioned the favela ideas, I would not be writing this right now. So, in his email a few days ago, again he is asking me about my ideas. Well, I feel used and exploited. On his website it is obvious that he is in it to make money. Which is not bad thing. But my focus is very diferent.

My programs the main focus is to give as many jobs to favela residents ONLY! And of course build the much needed comunity center in Rocinha. Also everyone knows how I feel about favela tours, that the residents who live in the favela should be conducting the tours, not outsiders who lie or reinforce negative stereotypes! Or companies who put lots of money in their own pocket and give nothing back to the comunities that they make their living off of.

Favelas need to take back their neighborhoods and stop the exploitation from the outsiders!

Anyhow, I am kind of upset right now. I think I need to stop there!