Sunday, March 23, 2014

2013 was a good year, now onto 2014+, Giving thanks!

The year 2013 was a breakout year for Favela Adventures, our tour company, our Dj School SPIN ROCINHA and much personal growth for me trying to hold all of this together. I am not a religious person at all. I do believe in cause and effect. The intentions we put out, we get back. Karma, I do believe in that! I have seen it work in my life. I don't pray, I act. In order to make things work or move, there needs to be action. The year 2013 for me was about action. I know as long as I stay in this same flow, 2014 will be even better. I was able to employee two full time guides and one part time in 2013. Hopefully in 2014 I can add another full time guide if the work presents itself. Most of our referrals, close to 70% were because of Trip Advisor and the rest were either word of mouth referrals or outright internet searches. We must be doing something right! I never thought success like this would feel so good. Success isn't measured in money, its measured in other ways. In 2013 we were able to buy our dream Dj Gear the 2000 Nexus series mixer and cdj players. Two years ago, I never would have imagined that our school would grow this fast or that we would have top end gear! I want to take time to thank those closest to me for a successful 2013 and hope that 2014 there will be more success to pass around. Hopefully we can continue on our path of helping more people in Rocinha.

Freddy- the friendly Dutch/Cape Verde guy who loves football and works as a part time Dj with Soundproviders our of Rotterdam. He first arrived in 2011 and came back to Rocinha because he missed the favela. He will be visiting family in Cape Verde but will return to Rocinha in April and will stay through to the World Cup. He worked part time for Favela Adventures but now he is in Cape Verde trying to set up some tourism opportunities there. He knows he always has a home here in Rocinha. He also runs a NGO called Sonvela which helps underprivileged children in Brasil and Cape Verde. Below a foto of Freddy dj'ing. Here is his webpage on facebook :

Vitoria- She has a great future in Fashion Design, drawing and anything else really that she wants to do. She works with us as a guide here in Rocinha. The sky is the limit for her. She speaks fluent English and loves working with the tourists. Where ever she ends up, she will be a success.

Elliot- the guy from Beverly Hills who took a chance on an idea. He left his comfortable life to come live in Rocinha and start a business that involves helping to find tourists places to stay in Rocinha and other favelas. I admire his willingness to take risks and trusting in me who encouraged him with his idea. If you need a place to stay for the World Cup, he is the guy to contact. I know he will be successful in anything he does. For more information about Elliot's work, check out the website:

Rita- Who I feel is like a sister to me. She loves Brazil and when she visits she stays in a favela. She has been instrumental in helping us acquire Dj equipment for our Dj School and recently brought the friendship bracelets for us to give to the people here. She is a film maker and is in the process of working on her project "Why Brazil?". She visits Rio about three times a year and always drops in for a visit. Here is Rita with Daniel Hoffman a man who loves the favela and who has organized a photography project for the kids in the favela.

Berit- the woman who finds her way through different parts of the world by helping those less fortunate. From Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook, she has been there to offer help. And its no different when she visits the favela. She has many friends here and each time gains more. When she comes to Rocinha, she brings suitcases full of donations for people here, toys, clothing, school supplies are most needed. I try to help coordinate who needs what. But most days she goes out walking through the favela connecting with people and trying to help in her way. For her sacrifice for us is much appreciated. Here's a photo of Berit with some of the kids in Rocinha.

Dembore- He's like my brother that I never had. Always supportive and understanding. He found me after seeing a poster about the Dj school at the bottom of the favela. After learning that he lived in the US and spoke English, I offered him a job in tourism and he hasn't turned back. He quit his other crappy job and came to work with me. Its been a good partnership. I only hope more opportunities open up for him in his Dj career.

So far 2014 looks bright with many projects in the future. We have a non profit from the US that is interested in exploring the ideas of Solar Energy here in the favela. Another contacted me about teaching construction workers proper building techniques. And we are currently trying to set up a workshop with some Dj's that work with the non profit "Bridges for Music". There so much to look forwards for 2014 and I cant wait to see how these opportunities develop. If you have any questions contact me at: