Isonelson e Miriam Da Silva

"It's a lot better here. It was an incredible change in my life"

Coming from
Metrô Mangueira Metrô Mangueira

Now living in
Condomínio Mangueira 1 Condomínio Mangueira 1

Isonelson da Silva, 50, driver, and Miriam Nascimento da Silva, 30, craftswoman

Isonelson: We lied in the Metro favela [Metro Mangueira] and we came directly here. Our house was a living room, a bedroom, and a small kitchen with a bathroom.

[How long did you live there for?]

Miriam: A year and a half

[How did you find out you were going to be removed?]

Miriam: City Hall came and told us they were going to take us out of there. It took a while. But it ended up that they came and took us out of there. It started gradually, but then… the majority left in the end.

Isonelson: Actually, they demolished a whole load of houses…

Miriam: And then other people came in there.

Isonelson: It’s become a problem now.

Miriam: People occupied that space, and now they want somewhere to live.

Isonelson: It will be a lot of work to get those people out of there.

[What do you miss about the old place?]

Miriam: Nothing.

[Nothing?]

Miriam: It was a miracle of God that brought us here.

Isonelson: We are doing very well.

[Is there any music that reminds you of your old house?]

Miriam: No!

Isonelson: The sound of mice. You heard that a lot there.

Miriam: There was a protest against going to Cosmos, owing to jobs, finding school places for children, etc. We said no, we’re not going to give up on it here. Cosmos is one hour away by train. It would have been another life. And City Hall ended up not wanting to come here anymore. But it was a struggle, a lot of people spoke up and protested, and we got it in the end.

[Would it have affected you a lot to live far away?]

Isonelson: Definitely.

Miriam: A lot, because he works in Copacabana. He wouldn’t lose his job, but he would have had to leave the house at 3am to get to work for 7am.

Isonelson: It wouldn’t have made things any easier. Here, things have chaned very much for the better.

Miriam: Our quality of life is much better here.

[What kind of thing?]

Isonelson: Because there, we didn’t have basic sanitation. It was just the floor, no flooring, sewere… The house was next to the train line, and the noise of it used to come into our house. Some people didn’t pay for their energy, they got it through a “gato”, like in a lot of communities. A lot of the time it would cut out, but that doesn’t happen here. We hav to pay for it, but it works, we’ve got basic sanitation here. We’ve got parking, there is a Metro station near here, it was cool for us to move, 100%.

 

Reporter: Luisa Lins e Renata Ribeiro | Edição Giulia Afiune

My journey

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