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Jul

sao paolo-bar in the favela copy

I think it was after I watched City of God that I decided I had to visit a favela. Except that it is not quite what you do as a lone female traveler. Nor even as a lone male traveler. As luck would have it, I was again invited this year by lovely Luiz Camargo to attend Paladar Cozinha do Brazil. Luiz had invited me to this wonderful event back in 2009 and I wrote about it. However, back then there was no visit to a favela on the schedule. This year though there was and we went with the inspirational David Hertz of Gastromotiva who trains young disadvantaged people to acquire culinary skills to a favela in Paraisópolis to meet some of his trainees, hear their stories, watch them cook and eat their food and of course to visit the place where some of them live and work. This particular favela is not as rough as others but it is still an extraordinary world where wonderful characters hang about in tiny bars, just sitting as if they were waiting for Godot, or play snooker or cards with loud music booming from cars, homes or shops that no one seems to pay attention to! Quite an amazing day with wonderful people and delicious homely Brazilian food!

sao paolo-playing cards in the favela 2 copy

Half of the men seemed to be playing cards. Some like these guys were in a bar, others around a table on the street and some on their balconies.

sao paolo-playing snooker in the favela copy

I loved this guy. He looked like a character from a British hero comic strip in the time of the colonies.

sao paolo-grilling in the favela copy

I never found out if this guy ran a mini churasceria or if he was grilling the meat for his family.


There is 6 comments on this post


  • It doesn’t seem such a dilapidated shanty town. Favelas have improved a lot nowadays. You wouldn’t seem more hapless people in Europe – Spain or Italy, for that matter, or lumpen England. Brazil is really going up, if even favelas are that nice. Thanks a lot for this piece of information.


  • you are welcome aliosha. it was pretty dilapidated in parts 🙂


  • I also attended this event. I´ve known this organization for over a year and they are doing an excellent work for social inclusion in others communities other than favela Paraisopolis. Your blog will certainly help them spread their efforts. They always need sponsors and partners to maintain their work. You made a great description for this day!


  • well, it’s an admirable organisation and david is doing terrific work and i do hope they get the needed sponsorship. i am glad you enjoyed reading the post 🙂


  • Dear Anissa, It was a present to have you with us, Hopefully next time we will be able to see the amazing talents around the favelas.

    The last picture is a common scene of the roast rib in a little shop. People buy it and take it home to share with the family. It’s a tradition in Brazil on sundays ( lazy cooking day) to buy the whole chicken or costela ribs, being grilled in what we call “Assadeira de Frango” or in a colloquial way: Televisão de Cachorro… 🙂


  • wonderful. thank you david. it was a privilege to be part of the visit and to find out more about your work; and to finally visit a favela. i loved our day there. thanks again and hope to see you soon 🙂

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