Maria do Socorro Oliveira
"When I first came to Rio de Janeiro, my whole life was about paying rent"
Now living in
Maria do Socorro Oliveira, 55, restaurant owner
I’m from Minas Gerais. When I came to live in Rio de Janeiro, my whole life revolved around paying rent. When I went to live with my second husband, I didn’t pay rent, because I went to live in his house. I had a house to live in, everything was great, but without having to work, for other people that is.
This project, the Transolimpica, City Hall needed that bit of land to build the Transolimpica line on, the bus rapid transit system. So, exactly where it was going to be was where my house was, where I lived with my husband. The mayor told us, he sent people to tell us, that they needed that space. They told us two months before. City Hall gave us seven apartments, and one of them was this one. They’re all the same – if you’ve seen this one, you’ve seen them all. And they gave us a bit of compensation for that little house.
[How much did they give you?]
That I don’t know, my husband has never said exactly how much it was. It was just enough for a small restaurant. We got it originally very cheap. For me, it’s better this way. I can do what I want when I want. I lived close by to the restaurant, but now I leave at 5.30am to get there in time to make breakfast. I come back home at 7pm. I don’t have to pay rent here, it’s mine, so I think I am much better off.
Reporter: Lara Norgaard, Mariana Simões
Photographer: Mariana Simões