Landmarks, Culture, and Community
Rio de Janeiro is famously known for housing the 125 foot statue known as “Christ the Redeemer”-one of the Seven Wonders of the World-and being Brazil’s former capital city. My travels led me to this beautiful city within the even more stunning country of Brazil.
When I arrived at Rio I made sure to do what all tourists do: take a picture with “Christ the Redeemer” and visit other focal cultural locations such as the Casa de Petrópolis, (known as the “house of seven mistakes” due to its seven instances of architectural asymmetry). I ate delicious food and then did some more sightseeing, but the highlight of my trip was exploring the Rocinha Favela-the largest slum in all of Brazil.
It was a unique and authentic experience to enter the Favela and see not just the rose-colored locations that tourists usually see but the way that some of the locals of Rio live and experience their culture firsthand. The Rocinha community welcomed me with open arms and led me to the “Gates of Heaven” , a cliff that oversaw the city of Rio. Even though I’ve been to many places, that view was arguably one of the most breathtaking. Getting to connect with the community and experience the culture has always been my goal when traveling and I can safely say that this mission was a success.