Inside Slum Tourism

Audio Slideshow  •  Rob Verger  •  06.23.08 | 3:55 PM ET

Rob Verger

Rob Verger is a frequent contributor to World Hum and the site's former air travel blogger. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Boston Globe and other publications, and he's a former undergraduate writing instructor at Columbia University. If you like, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter.

Photos by Rob Verger except Vigário Geral street photo by Monica Mar. Narration by Rob Verger. Produced by Frank Murray.

9 Comments for Inside Slum Tourism

Terry Ward 06.24.08 | 8:09 AM ET

I found this slide show and your story very interesting, Rob. I’ve never been to Brazil nor done a flavela tour elsewhere, so it was enlightening arm-chair travel.

Danielle Pastore 06.28.08 | 10:27 AM ET

This was awesome!

Madeline Leyda 06.28.08 | 5:32 PM ET

Went to Rio de Janeiro a few years ago and alongside the grand hotel we tourists were staying in, were the slum housing of the poor.  We were instructed to stay away from the housing area, and only to venture to the beach below the hotel and into town (via taxi).  It was disturbing to see these ramshackle houses lining the hillside right next to the opulent hotel, but it seemed as though this was accepted by the local people.

Andréa Neiva 06.28.08 | 6:02 PM ET

Oi Rob!
Gostei do seu slide show. Especialmente da sua conclusão. Foi corajoso da sua parte ir num deste “favela’s guided tour”. Eu não teria tido coragem não, por esta razão de “voyeurisme” que você mencionou. Mas talvez, se conseguimos ultrapassar isso, podemos enchergar outras coisas interessantes, e no final aprender algo. Parabéns!

Sarah Higgins 06.28.08 | 10:55 PM ET


Your video is very inspiring, I often find myself impoverished areas when I travel. I just find the people and the reality of the place to be much truer than the touristy areas. Great work!


orseo 07.04.08 | 6:29 AM ET

t-o-m 07.16.08 | 8:09 PM ET

there is a good web site with a video of a favella in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  It is

Nicole Zimmerman 07.25.08 | 8:23 PM ET

Rio’s favelas certainly hold a fascination for travelers to Brazil, and the subject of ‘slum tourism’ (voyeuristic and exploitative vs. educational and contributory)has been addressed often in travel media recently. I appreciate the self-reflective and comparative view you explore here. I chose not to go on a tour during a recent trip to Rio for the same reasons. Volunteering with Afro Reggae or other NGOs (I went through Iko Poran)can be a great way to learn about social conditions while also giving back to the communities.

Mudflow 08.05.08 | 12:44 AM ET

This is great information. Very cool presentation. I have seen few blogs but this is the first time I saw an entertaining blogs that uses pictures, sounds and video. Truly a multi-media.

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