Rio’s Biggest Favela Gets a Climbing wall

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C.E.U. – Construção do Muro na Rocinha from Centro de Escalada Urbana on Vimeo.

Believed to be the first climbing wall in one of Brazil’s thousands of favelas, the facility’s opening comes just as CEU is set to receive some extra attention with the start of the Olympic Games on August 5. To coincide with the Games, one company is sending professional climbers into Rocinha to climb with CEU (which means “sky” in Portuguese).

This comes from a great article written by Americas Quarterly. You can read more about how the project came together and the pro climbers that are helping to support it.

Rocinha sprawls over the backside of the city’s cloven-peaked mountain Dois Irmãos (“Two Brothers”), which divides the wealthy beach neighborhoods of Leblon and São Conrado. It is considered the largest single favela in the country with about 70,000 residents, many of whom live below the poverty line in ramshackle homes lacking basic services. While Rio’s mountains like Dois Irmãos often serve as social boundaries, with wealthy communities at their base and favelas perched above, CEU is teaching kids to see the rock formations not as borders but as opportunities for growth.