07 June, 2012

Help out Julio Otoni

Did you know that there is a small favela or community in the same street than Casa 579?

Some of our staff members volunteer in the community center of this favela. Children have english classes, art and craft or music classes to open there minds and spirit during their time out of school but also to avoid social problems related to drugs or gangs, pregnancy... 

One of the classes they are taught are "recycling classes" educating and sensitizing them to sustainable development teaching environmentally friendly behaviors knowing that people in low income environments are not environmentally conscious.

This way, the center's volunteers and the children recently created an artistic wall using recycled material such as taps, mirrors, capsules, unused mosaic... Volunteers went around the city collecting old and unused material, children used to bring taps and capsules to the community center....

One of our staff members is currently giving recycling classes doing and crafts using recycled material such as plastic bottles, milk boxes, yogurt pots...  

On June 16th, the kids are going start making sofas made of plastic bottles. Therefore, they need a lot of bottles: at least 100 are needed to make one sofa!!

So we need your contribution! Help us out: leave your plastic bottles in the special bin in Casa 579's kitchen.

Also, you could have a look at the community center's blog: http://juliootoni.wordpress.com

Also, don't forget RIO +20, the UN conference on sustainable development will be launched in a few day. UN represents encourage young people to participate to events and conferences to enable change.
So, while you are around, check out their website  or facebook page and check what's on or which events you could attend.

03 June, 2012


While going on a visit to the Sugar Loaf, why not passing by this really nice and uncommon floating exhibition?

Flutuarte is a free and open air floating art gallery in the Harbour of Urca, created and managed by a group of artists from New York. They are painting fisherman boats in the bay of Urca near the Pao de A├žucar. 

Nicolina, one of the artists, mentioned the motivation for the project, “Maxine and I had come to Rio to work on different public art projects. One night we were sitting around the Quadrado just imagining what the area would look like if all the boats were transformed into canvases.”

If you are wanting to have an out of the box experience in Rio, you could help them painting on the boat roofs. You do not need any prior painting experience and they provide all material.

And, if you are lucky, maybe that day they would be organizing a BBQ and a boat trip, what they regularly do organize!! Awesome experience with music, nice people, amazing views and sunset!

While being in the Urca area, you also could go to the beach called Praia Vermelha located in the end of the Avenida Pasteur or walk up the sugar loaf starting from the trail on the left hand side of this beach. Pass the gate and just follow the path. At some point, on your left hand side, you would find a trail going up the hill. 
It only take around 20 minutes and views are incredible!

How to get there?

The exhibition is located in the area of the Sugar Loaf. It takes around 30-45 minutes to get there from the hostel. 
First, catch a van from Casa 579 to largo do Machado. Stop at the end station and walk 2 minutes towards the Praia do Famengo which is the name of the beach but also the name of the boulevard near the beach. From this boulevard, take a bus to Urca 2011 or 107. Urca will be written as a destination on top of the bus. Take only one that indicates Urca. Stop at the crossing of the main avenue with Rua Urandi where you can see a petrol station. Take this street, walk 5 minutes and you would bump into the harbor where the boat are.


If you need any extra indications, ask reception. And if you want some more information about the project, check out their website or like their Facebook page which is really well made!

http://www.flutuarte.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/flutuarteurca