The Favela tour with Luis in Paraisópolis, near the Morumbi district of Sao Paulo, was a unique and safe experience, one that I would not be able to do myself. The 3 hour tour included some walks in the hilly neighborhood, seeing improvised residences, small shops, songbirds, and storefront churches. Kids played with puppies and cats. We visited two folk artists:
1) The Rock House, home of the artist Estevão, which he has been building for a couple decades. The house is a 3-story collage from floor to ceiling
of found objects imbedded in cement - plates, vases, cell phones, buttons, statues, and swimming pool ladders. Plus hanging plants that trail their roots from the 3rd floor roof. He has won numerous awards for his art and was on a sponsored trip to meet with the architect Gaudi in Barcelona, so his wife gave the tour.
2) The metal shop of Mr. Berbela, a mechanic by trade who creates sculptures made of recycled materials. He made hundreds of animals from butterflies to centipedes to lizards to a stork carrying a baby. He created fantastically-adorned motorcycle with 4 video screens and Christmas lights. Mr. Berbela refuses to sell his objects and prefers to give his sculptures to friends and relatives.
This tour was combined with a City Tour, in Luis' car.