Rocinha: Rio’s Largest Favela And The Crisis Of Poverty

2938 words - 12 pages

Brazil is a rising world power; however, there are huge social issues that are quite evident in today’s Brazil. The working class people are suffering from low wages, dire poverty, and no representation at the local or national level. A majority of these people live in slum towns, called Favelas, on the outskirts of huge cities, like Rio de Janeiro. In Rio de Janeiro, the largest Favela, with a population of almost seventy-thousand people, is Rocinha. In Rocinha many issues are bluntly evident, yet the government seems to ignore them. Lack of resources have lead residents to build unsafe structures on the hillsides, unsafe wiring systems, lack of proper plumbing, and the lack of basic needs being met by their government. The main social issue that aids in the continuing growth of the Favela populations is poverty. Dire poverty in Rocinha makes it nearly impossible to leave the favela to become successful in the city, in addition, poverty bars them from proper nutrition, limits the amount of education a person can attain, and makes the residents subject to gangs, and drug-related crimes. By examining this issue from a broad perspective, and on an individual basis, harm prevention can be put in place, towards the betterment of the community.
A brief background of Brazil, and history of the Favelas, specifically Rocinha, is necessary to understand the issue of poverty in Rocinha. Brazil is the largest country by population and area in South America. Its economy is booming, and has been on the rise since 2004. According to the Wall Street Journal, for the last 100 years Brazil has been the land of opportunity in South America, with it being the largest economy in South America, and the tenth largest economy in the world (p 1). It has also been listed as one of the rising emerging nations along with Russia, India, China, and South Africa, collectively known as the BRICS. It has captured its resources in natural gas, oil, and manufacturing, while creating millions of jobs, and boosting tourism. In addition, to the upswing of its economy, it has also taken on the prestigious events of the World Cup 2014, and the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 (Wall Street Journal) With a booming economy, emerging world power status, and holding prestigious events for the world to see, it would appear that everything is wonderful in Brazil, and that the positive economic upswing would filter down to the people. However, this is not the case. In the shadow of all the great things taking place, one will find desperate poverty, slums on the outskirts of the big cities, and terrible social problems for the working class. Increased living expenses, lack of social programs, and insufficient public transportation have crippled the working class.
These problems are the most evident in the second largest city of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is a metropolis for tourists, with it hundreds of beaches lining the Atlantic Ocean. Rio de Janeiro is...

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