Favela dwellers distribute masks in São Paulo

. May 22, 2020
Favela dwellers distribute masks in São Paulo Paraisópolis favela. Photo: Vilar Rodrigo/Commons

As The Brazilian Report has previously covered, favela residents in Brazil have been ignored by public administrations — and have taken public health matters into their hands. In the Paraisópolis favela — in the South Zone of São Paulo —, neighbors have initiated a new program distributing masks to residents. Twenty-nine-year-old stylist Alex Santos decided it was time to take action after seeing his neighbors walk the streets without protective gear.

Mr. Santos’ Periphery Invented Fashion initiative (PIM) — founded some ten years ago with psychologist Nil Mariano, 41, to empower at-risk youths, has changed its focus to manufacture and distribute masks to Paraisópolis residents. It aims at distributing 600 units by the end of the month. With approximately 100,000 residents, Paraisópolis is the second-largest favela in São Paulo. Mr. Santos told newspaper Folha de S. Paulo “now is the time to help others.”

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Benjamin Fogel

Benjamin Fogel is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at New York University and a Contributing Editor to Jacobin Magazine.

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