|at a glance|
fundamentally different from the posh rio experienced by most visitors, yet so deeply connected to the city's soul and history, rocinha is the largest favela in rio de janeiro, home to an estimated 170,000 people, and possibly more. located next to gávea and just behind são conrado, one of the most luxurious neighborhoods of rio, rocinha is a reminder of the great diversity that exists in the city - overlooking the metropolis, and less than a mile from the beach, the random looking rocinha creates a fascinating visual contrast as a backdrop to the orderly and shiny são conrado. in the late 1920's, this area was home to many small farms where mostly portuguese and spanish immigrants cultivated coffee and vegetables - in portuguese, a small ranch is called 'rocinha,' hence, the neighborhood's name. when the roads to the area were paved, easier access allowed settlements by people who squatted the land.
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