Building materials used

The building materials used in a Favela 30 years ago were often stolen or very cheap. They included plastic, wood, corrugated iron, rocks or maybe fencing. Some of the better Favela’s were made from bricks and concrete.A Favela today would be made from concrete, bricks which have been stuck together with cement, breeze block (giant grey bricks) and iron. They may also have a wooden door.What did the housing look like?30 years ago Favela’s were small and single floored box shapes houses.Today a Favela could be1-4 storeys high and is a regular shape, is safe and won’t fall down and is permanent.Basic services available e.g. running water, gas, electricity plumbing?30 years ago a Favela had very limited facilities. They had no electricity or proper sanitation facilities and had to share 1-3 taps between the whole neighbourhood.Today most Favela’s have running water and proper sanitation facilities. They have plumbed in bathrooms, sinks and a connection to the gas and electricity supply.Extra services – e.g. schools, community centres, shops, transport services?A Favela 30years ago was very limited in services. There may have been a school and definitely a market but there was not anything else to o as life was difficult and transport was expensive.Today a Favela has many facilities. These range from shops to schools, entertainment (satellite TV), Rubbish collection and a bus stop which runs near the Favela. All of these have been set up by the community.Jobs carried out by people?Jobs 30 years ago included working as a seamstress in a small factory or selling goods on the roadside for a small profit.The jobs there are today are: working at the local fruit and vegetable market, being a cleaner for some rich people in the main town, fortune telling or looking after cars (being paid for looking after somebody’s car).How do people spend their free time?30 years ago people had little free time. In the little time they had they would go into town, play a game or chat to each other.In their spare time today people help each other with D.I.Y. chores, they do fortune telling to earn some money, play football, play with kites, play with the local kids, go to the arcade or have a barbeque (BBQ)Overall quality of life?Overall the quality of life was very depressing as people were very poor. There was no hygiene, and people were scared to leave their children at home due to high crime rates.The quality of life has improved in time. There are many good things (satellite TV) but some bad things (criminals who beat up and kill innocent people) however people have to work very hard!

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