I have been living in Rio for almost 10 years and all this time had been very sceptical about going on a 'favelatour'. Last week I joined friends visiting on a tour with local guide Zezinho and have only good things to report: from the start it was clear that Zezinho's approach is different then the many commercial 'favela tour operators'. Instead of being picked up with a tour vehicle (or even worse, a jeep), we took the local bus from ipanema straight up the hill to the Gavea district, where we started our walking tour on top of the favela all the way down, crossing main streets and small 'beco's...Zezinho was showing us around as if he was showing his neighbourhood to friends, he gave us lots of inside info about the daily life, the history of the favela, plans for the future...We felt safe all the time and talked to several happy people that had been living their entire life in Rocinha and would not change this place for any other place in Rio...This tour was an eye opener for me and a true experience to see the "other side" of Rio. Thanks again Zezinho, you are doing a great job for Rocinha!
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