Painted Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Far beyond the shinier parts of Rio are the famed “favelas” of the city, or large shanty towns that are home to Rio’s poorest. If you’re comfortable with your Portuguese and your self-defense, a guided visit to the Painted Favelas of Rio reveals a sight to behold.

A duo of artists worked with a few favelas in Rio to engender new pride in their homes. Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn worked with the locals to paint large sections of favelas into bright, colorful works of art. The result was a down-on-its-luck neighborhood that had been transformed by art into a place of pride for its inhabitants. Enter at your own risk, but be prepared for some truly inspirational, transformational art.

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