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Barbara Olivi, founder and chairwoman of the non-profit organization “Il Sorriso dei miei Bimbi Onlus”, has been living in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, since 2002.
“The most beautiful years in my life” she usually says, especially reffered the Youth Education programmes that the organization has been developing for over 18 years in the heart of the favela.
Barbara began her Brazilian adventure in 1998 when she decided to become tourist guide.
Thanks to her new job she got to know and love the “Cidade Maravilhosa” and she was given the opportunity of introducing tourists to all the non-profit activities carried on in Rocinha.
Over the course of time, in fact, tourism reveals to be an efficient way to stir people’s interest in the activities of the non-profit organization and it also provides great visibility to the organization itself: many stories of friendship, cooperation and special meetings have come true thanks to the wonderful tours on the favela in which Barbara and Julio (both tourist guides with regular permission according to Brazilian law) have the leading role.
Rocinha is pulsing with life, a stream of energy that the tour tries to reveal by showing scenes of this extraordinary everyday life. At the same time, the non-profit organization wants to spread information about the favela and the social projects being developed inside it to let tourists better understand this reality, its inhabitants’ dignity and happiness.
Thus, the trip becomes an unforgettable experience, always taking into account respect for the Community made of people in need, but still showing pride and dignity.
We remind you that Rocinha is populated by honest and respectable people living in humble conditions.
Tourists visit Rocinha on foot, therefore comfortable shoes are recommended. We invite visitors to take cameras and video cameras with them, but to use them with discretion and respect.
The tour lasts 2/3 hours but there is no time limit and you can experience the favela life longer, for example by eating in one of the local, family run small restaurants. This would give you the opportunity of talking to residents and observing the hectic life around them.
Rocinha is waiting for you!