Favelas are the working class boroughs of Rio de Janeiro. Unlike what many guide books say, favelas are not crime-ridden and not miserable and people in Rio do not die of starvation. It is also a lot more unlikely to get robbed in a favela that at the beach of Copacabana.
The people living in these favelas are Brazilian citizens that pay taxes, go to work, have children to educate, food to cook, shopping to do, and elderly to care for.
Until today, full citizenship is negated to people in favelas, hence their houses oficially do not exist, and services like electricity, water supply, internet and telephone services, and public transport, rubbish collection, education, and health care are precarious.
Life in favelas gets better every year, but it will take still a while for the media and the upper social classes start seing the favelas as the integrate part of their city they are.