Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Partnerships!

Rio is a visually gorgeous place to visit or to live. For newcomers who plan to live here, its not easy to make a living. If you do decide to reside in Rio you need a business that makes you stand out from the rest. Tourism is how 80% of Rio operates. It's the major force that drives the economy here.

I have been involved in tourism for about 8 years. I have developed a good reputation for my quality of work. With this, my clients always ask about other services that I don't provide. I stared to think that in order to make sure visitors to Rio are taken care of, that I should expand my network.

So, I went out on a search to find likeminded folks who share my vision which is to be a connector. If a person needs something in Rio, I want to be able to have the knowledge to pass on to my clients this information. I get people that ask me about renting apartments or other tours in the city. I don't like saying to people that I don't know anybody or that I can't help them.

I did a lot of research and met with people. Good people, who deserve to have visitors know about their services. The first person I met was David Schneider of Gringo Management who rents apartments in Copacabana and Ipanema. I never heard anything bad about him and there has always been a mutual respect. I think the good service providers in the city need to connect and make this network. Why run all over the place looking for services if you can find them all in one place? Rio can be a difficult place to navigate so I am trying to change that.

I have had troubles in the past with trying to join with others, but I am finding a pattern. It's the foreigners who are hungry and want to do business correctly. They are the ones motivated to make things happen. Most Brazilians don't understand the concept of business. One person who I was trying to connect with, I was waiting 5 weeks for her to send me information to help promote HER! I sent her mine within 3 days, but her, 5 weeks..geesh! I finally wrote to her saying, I thought she didn't value this potential partnership and that waiting 5 weeks for her to send me her information was unacceptable. So, I decided to keep searching.

Yesterday, I met David Kiss who is from Hungary. He is making his way in Rio and I am impressed with his services. First impressions mean a lot to me. We set up a meeting in Gavea at 10:30am. He arrived on time prepared and ready to share his ideas. I explained to him my idea of wanting to meet with people who offer honest services for reasonable prices. On my website, I will make a separate page where I will advertise his services. If people want to do tours around Rio, they can then directly contact him. He also offers transfers to and from the airport. His prices are very affordable. Please contact him for all information regarding pricing.

A little about David:
David loves living in the "Cidade Maravilhosa". He came to Rio to follow his heart. He married a Brazilian woman who was from the Northeast of Brazil and decided to move to Rio. He started working orginally in the hospitality services back in 2008 when he lived in London. He worked his way up from kitchen staff to the manager of a restaurant but his dream was to be in Rio. He likes helping people and his idea is to organize everything in one place so the guest can enjoy and not waste time looking for things to do.

To check out David's work and the services he offers. His website is Airport Transfer Taxi Tour.

Some of David's Fotos below with Guests..

Enjoy Rio for all its beauty!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Helping businesses in the favela grow

Working in community based tourism has been very rewarding in many aspects. I enjoy helping to facilitate special projects. When people from outside the favela offer to help, it's greatly appreciated by the locals.

I met Ramon Marmolejos through a friend. Ramon runs a company called emzingo which helps businesses run more efficiently. He contacted me about wanting to help businesses owner in the favela.

For many who live in favelas, very few opportunities are available for advanced education. Many in developed countries have access to seminars or where business owners can learn how to improve their businesses.

Ramon's proposal was to bring in students from universities who are studying for their MBA's to help projects in the favela. Here is a example of what they do for NGO's and developing areas worldwide. Read more here .

This is also another explanation from Ramon of their ideas: "We are looking to bring MBA students on an impact learning trek, an 8 day immersion program to give them exposure to the social innovation sector in Brazil. As part of the program, we also work with social enterprises to develop a strategic problem that the MBAs can assist with. We would use a design thinking approach, with the user at the center, to create innovative solutions for the organization."

Ramon contacted me about him bringing a group of 10 students to the favela in search of projects that need help. I was able to find two that stood out and these projects agreed to meet at a set point to take part in a two hour workshop.

What we offered these students was a full day from 10-5pm inside the favela seeing the community and participating in some activities. 

I met the group in Ipanema and we arrived at the top of Rocinha. The first activity was the one hour Percussion class where two guys from Pragradar Rocinha Samba Drumming group taught the students the finer points of drumming with various drums used by samba practitioners.

After the drumming class, we split into two groups of 5 people each. I took one group and Jody took the other group and we made a tour of the favela explaining our community for the students. As we arrived closer to the bottom of Rocinha we stopped for a Capoeira demonstration by ACORDA CAPOEIRA a local group that serves over 300 members in the favela. They put on a demonstration for about 30 minutes for the group.

After the Capoeira we continued the tour for another 15 minutes then decided to stop for a hearty lunch. We like to take our guests to a place where we know they will enjoy the food. Trapia Social is a por kilo (by weight) place with lots of selection of various fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and meats.

After Lunch we made our way up the favela for the Workshop for the business owners and for another project callled "Oficina do Sucesso", which teaches young people how to get into the business world. The workshop was held in Barbara's new cafe called Garagem das Letras. 

It was a full day of fun and community interaction. I hope that we can continue to do work like this where everybody benefits for the experience. Thank Ramon for helping Rocinha to have access to your services and the help of your students!