When in Brazil it is hard to avoid hearing about them. “Don’t take the wrong exit or you will end up in a favela” is one sentence you might hear, or “he’s from the favela” when talking about people – be it football star or colleague. But what is a favela exactly? It’s impossible to translate, because this word evokes a whole social background, which is far more complex than the “poor people” many people think of. More than 20% of all people in Rio de Janeiro live in favelas, they are much more than places of gang violence and crime. Here’s nice and short introduction.