CoolTour through Rocinha
Rocinha – The largest favela of Latin America? If this is true we are not completely certain, but what we do know is that Rocinha is HUGE, and there’s lots to discover: Perspectives and the lives of those who live there, social projects, trying out a class of Capoeira, graffiti from “WARK studio” and, with a little bit of luck, a conversation with the graffiti artist himself, Marcos Rodrigo.
A resident and tourist guide, through “Rocinha CoolTour” Catarine offers a tour guided inside Rocinha. We recommend this to all those who have special interest in the daily live of the favel and the engagement of civil society inside this context.
Getting there: From Copacabana it takes about 30 minutes. By public transport the metro is the best option, getting off at São Conrado station, direction Jardim Oceânico. For an extra cost, Catarine can also provide transportation from and back to your hotel in Leblon/Ipanema/Copacabana.
Days/times/length: daily, times and duration is from 1.5 to 3 hours
Cost: R$100 (subject to change — inflation can be rampant around these parts)
Confirmation: After request through our site.
Catarine, born and raised in Rocinha, speaks fluent German and offers an authentic vision of Brazil far different from that seen in Copacabana; a special inspiration for tourists interest especially interested by the favela culture of Rio de Janeiro.
Catarine will meet you at the metro station’s exit at São Conrado and will give you a miriad views from different perspectives of this colossal shanti town, impossible to know and truly understand alone or with a guide who is not from this multifaceted reality. Recognizing the value of the community is an essential desire.
The tour begins at the hights of Rocinha, at a viewpoint called Visual, from where Rocinha extends. Descending through the busy streets, entering the cul-de-sacs and narrow alleyways, we can discover the innerworld of the community. All the while Catarine will tell you the impressing history of her neighborhood.
Ever since 2011 Rocinha was pacified, or rather, now there’s more police presence. What this means for the residents and how much life has changed since, all of this is part of the history of this part of the city, and it becomes more present and palpable during the visit.
Beyond this, you will get to know a bit of the cultural life of Rocinha: The tour passes by “Wark’s Studio,” whose graffiti is ornamental to many walls of the city, and especially Rocinha. If this atellier is open, you can exchange with the artist himself, Marcos Rodrigo. For the sportier amongst you: every day the group “Wake-Up Capoeira” practices in a central square in Rocinha. They perform a Capoeira show and invite tourists to partake in an experimental class and play the exotic musical instruments, in exchange for which they invite you to give a small contribution in order to maintain the social project.
Where the State relaxes its attention, many times social organizations assume social infrastructure. Rocinha is one of these places which possess social decentralized social projects in service of the community. Catarine works giving free German language classes to the residents of Rocinha by way of the “Amigos da Vida” NGO (translation: Friends of Life). A visit to this organization is also part of the Rocinha CoolTour. In the lower portion of Rocinha you will find “Rocinha Surf School,” where different activities and surf classes for young and old occur.