Responsible and Sustainable Tourism in Brazil.
Barbara Olivi, founder and president of the NPO Il Sorriso dei miei Bimbi, has been living in the Rocinha slum -in Rio de Janeiro- since 2002 .
“The happiest years of my life,” remembers Barbara, especially the education projects for early childhood and youths that her non-profit organization has been developing for over ten years in the heart of the favela: the Pre-School, the Youth Project, the Literacy Project and Family Assistance Program for families in particular conditions of social neglect.
In Brazil since 1998, Barbara began her “carioca adventure” challenging herself with a new profession: the tour guide.
This activity made her know and love the “Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) allowing her, at the same, to raise awareness for tourists and visitors about the activities carried out in Rocinha from “her” non-profit organization.
Tourism, over the years, has turned out to be an important vehicle to bring attention to the activities of the association and a powerful driver of visibility.
Many stories of friendship, cooperation and special meetings took place at the beautiful excursions in the favela Rocinha of which Barbara and her husband Julio (both guides with license and certification required in Brazil) are the undisputed protagonists.
The Rocinha is full of life, a river of energy that the tour will highlight showing the extraordinary everyday. At the same time, the non-profit organization would like to spread the knowledge of the favela and social projects it has been developing through the dignity and happiness of its inhabitants.
The excursion will thus become an unforgettable experience, organised to take care of the Community: people who suffer but have deep pride and dignity.
The tour becomes a very special experience: waiters, doormen, housekeepers, masons, craftsmen, cooks, students, artists, actors, young entrepreneurs: the favela is a melting pot of arts and crafts made by tired eyes and backs bent from work (when it is there), but also a lot of imagination, laughter and a contagious passion for life.
Through this experience, the young people have the opportunity to experience the importance of other cultures and put into practice the studied languages (Italian and English) demonstrating extraordinary communication skills and friendliness.
Please find more info at: www.ilsorrisodeimieibimbi.org
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