Latin America

What do Cariocas think about the Rio Olympics?

Photographer Pilar Olivares captures the faces of the real Olympics hosts: Rio de Janeiro residents, also known as Cariocas. They shared their perspectives on hosting this mega-event.
4 Ago 2016 – 4:46 PM EDT


Dennis Claudinho, a 27-year-old construction worker, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 11, 2016. "I can't afford tickets to the Olympics because they are too expensive," he said. He is very optimistic about the improvements in the transport service, and he thinks Cariocas (locals) will benefit.



Maria Callou, a 35-year-old fashion designer, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 30, 2016. "I am glad about the Olympics and I think the problems of the country, such as corruption and violence, will go unnoticed during the event. We are hospitable people and we know how to bring joy and happiness to tourists," she said.

Abner Lelis, a 54-year-old taxi-driver, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 28, 2016. "I'm glad that the government has invested in improving transport and infrastructure," he said. "I spend almost the whole day driving and it's evident that traffic has improved." He does have one concern: "Sometimes my colleagues, the taxi drivers, take advantage of tourists, taking long ways to charge more in the meter."


Cristiane da Silva, a 33-year-old craftswoman, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 16, 2016. "I think it's a shame to hold the Olympics in this city where nothing has been done for poor people, where basic health services and education are precarious," she said. She added that the only benefit to hosting the Olympics was the renovation of the port.

Artist Wilson Alexandre poses at the entrance of his house and art studio in Vidigal favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 13, 2016. Wilson says he did not buy any tickets for the Olympics because they are too expensive. He thinks of the Olympics as a big sporting celebration, with people enjoying the event the world over. At the same time he thinks of the eviction of people from poorer neighborhoods, the corruption and the financial/project mismanagement.

Jorge Salomão, a 70-year-old poet, poses for a portrait outside a bar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 15, 2016. "We are going through so many difficult times that the Olympics will bring a moment of joy and fraternization in this city that is the most beautiful in the world," he said.


Erinaldo Cardoso, a 43-year-old street performer, poses for a portrait in front of the Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13, 2016. "Nothing will change after the Olympics. Everyone who knows the reality of Rio de Janeiro knows that it is not all happiness," he said. He also is concerned that the jobs that have been created will be lost after the games.


Gilberto Rabelo, a 74-year-old street vendor, poses at the "Escadaria Selaron" (Selaron Stairs), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 25, 2016. "The Olympics will benefit only a few people," he said. He's concerned that violence will intensify when the event is over because there will be reduced security and fewer police on the streets.


Marcos Da Costa, 46-year-old, poses as he works out at the Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 24, 2016. When he asked if he had bought tickets for the Olympics he said, "I don't agree with the Olympics while people in Rio suffer violence, bad health services, insecurity and construction works like the poorly-designed cycle path." (Part of a Rio bike path collapsed in April, killing two.)


André Barros, a 44-year-old street cleaner, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 20, 2016. "I can't afford tickets to the Olympics. I need to work," he said. But the event could be positive, he added: "People will benefit from the improvement of public transportation."



Aline Santos, a 23-year-old student, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2016. "For me the Olympics are synonymous with arbitrariness because many people have been evicted from their houses for the construction of the Olympic Parks. I am totally against the Olympics," she said.

Fernando Olivera, a 68-year-old watchmaker, poses for a portrait in his shop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2016. "The international image of Rio de Janeiro will improve with the Olympics, in the same way as the World Cup, the violence will go unnoticed," he said.


José de Jesús Damaceno, a 75-year-old fisherman, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13, 2016. "The city is in crisis and there is no opportunities for anyone. The government should take more care of the population before spending money on an event like this," he said.

Student and acrobat Guilherme Barbosa, poses for a portrait at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 18, 2016. When asked if Cariocas (locals) will benefit from the Olympics, he said, "Those in a position to rent out rooms in their houses can earn extra income, as well as those who work in the tourism industry. But most people are abandoned in precarious health and education services." If there was a vote, he would cast against the Olympics.

Jeymerson Pereira, a 25-year-old butcher, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2016. "We don't need the Olympics, we need more schools and hospitals," he said. He is also concerned that nothing will change for the poor in Rio de Janeiro. "We would need to change the government and start afresh."


Danielle Bhering, a 32-year-old nurse, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2016. "I'm unhappy with the Olympics at a time when the country is living with violence," she said. "I don't want to leave home during the games." She added: "It is difficult to accept this huge event given our polluted Guanabara Bay and the violence in the city."

Ducinea Rancheiro, a 48-year-old street vendor, poses for a portrait at the Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 25, 2016. "I am not a person who identifies with sports, but it will be good because it has given people work by generating jobs mostly in the tourism sector," she said.

Diógenes Paixao, a bar owner, poses for a portrait in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 15, 2016. "The Olympics will bring many tourists looking for fun and entertainment," he said. "I am only concerned about security on the streets."

Dayvison Nascimento, a 25-years-old bartender, poses for a portrait at the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 24, 2016."I expect many tourists will come here and enjoy the energy of the city and the event", he said. But he is concerned that police could not effectively control violence in the city. He hopes the impact of the Olympics will be positive and that Rio de Janeiro will improve its international image.


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