“This business helps me in two ways,” she says. “It is great to make some money for my family, and it will mean I can build an extra floor where my daughter can live. But secondly, both my daughters are learning English. They love the opportunity to practise speaking and broaden their horizons through this cultural exchange.”
Mary, like others from her favela, is renting her property with the help of non-profit organisation Football Beyond Borders. The organisation – which uses football as a means to break down prejudice and inequality – has been working with a small group of families to set up “accommodation hubs” for fans staying in the city during the World Cup, to help spread some of the gains resulting from the influx of tourists.
With TripAdvisor reporting a match day increase on room rates of 212% in Salvador, the price of rooms in Rio increasing by 600% and the average price of a hotel room in Rio now at £289, the favelas, with rooms at around £17-20 per night – offer a more affordable alternative for fans already struggling to keep their trip within budget. The project, and other favela accommodation businesses across the country, also offer an opportunity for visitors to experience a very different side of Brazil.