Professor Orlando Kelm – University of Texas

When we hear of Rio de Janeiro, references to favelas come out over and over again. Today we were hosted by the residents of the community of Pavão, Pavãozinho and Cantagalo (PPG). They escorted us up the Cantagalo elevator, to a feijoada lunch, a mototour, a hike up the morro, a soccer game, stops at local bars and homes, English lessons, kite flying, and a batucada in the street. We met up with Fumaça, André, Ronaldo, Gabriel, Mara, Sidney, Daniel, and a whole host of local residents. Myself, I was most impressed to meet Acme, the local graffiti artist who even created a picture of the blue-eyed Americans and the “Olá Texas” that was painted on a home near the soccer field.

Estimates are that nearly 22% of all residents in Rio de Janeiro live in favelas, over 1,300,000 in Rio. To understand Rio and Brazil, an understanding of favela life is essential. Hopefully today you were able to get a sense of that interaction. What were your take-aways from today’s visit to Cantagalo? How did your experience there expand your understanding of business in Brazil? From my perspective, it is amazing to think that we have experienced the extremes of one day at Embraer and another in The PPG Favela.

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