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Foreign Invasion of the Favela


The sound of Portuguese spoken with an accent is just one of the undeniable signs that foreigners have arrived in the favela. And the “gringos” are here to stay. Hailing from many countries around the globe, these newcomers have passed up life on the “asphalt,” as the formal areas of the city are known, in favor of settling in favelas. More affordable housing, along with improved safety following the establishment ofPacifying Police Units (UPP, by the Portuguese acronym), are leading a growing number of foreigners to seek housing in the favela. While the foreigners are successfully integrating into the fabric of the neighborhood, residents and experts warn that this trend, which is causing property values to soar, will take its toll on long-time residents.

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