Sitiê is an ecological park located in the Vidigal favela in the southern part of
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From 2003 to 2015, a group of residents recovered a total of 8,500m2 meters of land from an informal garbage dump. Currently, the park is cared for by Paulinho, a resident of Vidigal, with help from some friends, and is supported by a small amount of tourism revenue.
As a valued member of Vidigal favela, Paulinho has dedicated his life to public service by working in community sanitation – he is employed by the local government to collect trash in Vidigal. But more than just a source of livelihood, Paulinho feels it is his responsibility to keep the community clean. Having been in Vidigal for more than three decades, he has seen the community transform, both good and bad, in many different ways.
Favela Inc. worked with its caretakers to develop its potential as a tourist attraction, environmental education site, and as a productive agroforestry, while developing plans to secure its financial future and create jobs in the community. We secured for Sitie a donation of 1,000 açai seeds and an agreement that the future harvest be purchased by a juice company. This will generate about BR50,000 of revenue per year. Favela Inc. has also developed partnerships for Sitie with Renature Foundation and Regen Farmer, international organizations with expertise in regenerative agroforestry, to bring in specialized technology and train locals on how to manage the forest.