In 2005, I led two trips to Rio de Janeiro funded by Temple University. The purpose of the trip was to install hydroponic gardens in the favelas and teach the residents about nutrition and how to improve their diet with fresh vegetables.
The favelas are very poor and residents must travel far to buy affordable produce. Therefore, they often forego produce and eat rice, beans, and a little meat.
We worked with Viva Rio, a local nonprofit. The project was carried out in Dona Marta, a favela in the Botafogo district of Rio. This favela is famous for its extraordinary views of the city. The favela was featured in the documentary Notícias de uma Guerra Particular, and was also the site of a Michael Jackson video.
The project received media coverage from National Geographic Brasil (right) and Chronicles of Higher Education. Folha de Sao Paulo was also interested in covering the project in the future, but I was not able to secure funding, and therefore could not continue the project. It was this experience with funding that led me to start my own company where I could generate my own funds to pursue these projects.
A documentary was also made of the project.
You can read the article in Temple Times about the project as well as a reprint of the Chronicles article at the link below:
View pictures on Picasa: