Letter to the Editor
Dear Rio Times,
We were in Rio last month at this time and we had a fair amount of rainy days.
I picked up the guide book and went scouting. I found the option of visiting a favela. A debate unfolded within our group concerning the voyeuristic aspects of touring poverty.
Ultimately we passed on the idea. Our last night in Rio, we stayed at the Ipanema Plaza Hotel. They offered favela tours in their lobby as an excursion for a day in Rio. It reinforced my decision to have passed on a tour. There is a certain seductiveness to drugs, traffickers and guns which is a hook for the favela tours. Is it a coincidence the restaurant in the Ipanema Plaza is named Opium?
Upon our return, doing an errand and listening to Public Radio, my ears picked up
hearing an interview with the author of a recently published book entitled “Culture Is Our Weapon”. One of our most enjoyable evenings was listing to Afro-reggae samba in a club in Lapa. Now I was listening to the author talk about a music movement in the favelas. Another coincidence.
I highly recommend the book to your readers planning a visit to Rio.
Stanley and Kimmerly