Brazilian slum's green oasis

Monkeys swinging from branch to branch, a special gardening section for children and stunning sea views.

This green oasis finds its home in an unlikely place: a former landfill for a Rio de Janeiro slum that has been turned into a park thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers.

The six-year-old project will be showcased at this month's Rio+20 development conference, expected to draw thousands of delegates from around the world, including government officials and representatives from civil society, to this bustling Brazilian metropolis.

“People came here to get rid of old refrigerators, stoves, tyres and even their dead dogs,” said Mauro Quintanilha, a musician and craftsman who started the initiative at the Vidigal favela. “There was a lot of trash and it stank.”

Together with a group of 20 volunteers the 52-year-old Mr. Quintanilha spent a year cleaning up the area, picking up each and every discarded scrap that could be recycled or repaired. “It was tough convincing people that this was no longer a dump,” he told AFP. “We really had to talk to them about it but now they're helping us.”

The effort certainly paid off.

Today, monkeys swing from trees in the park where milk bottles serve as flower pots.

International delegations to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development are expected to visit the park, reachable via a narrow staircase of old tyres filled with rubble, on June 18.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:07:47 AM |

Next Story