Can Climbing Bring Hope to Brazil's Slums?
On a trip to Brazil, American climber Asa Firestone first laid eyes on the granite peaks of Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers), a pair of mountains at the center of Rio de Janerio. When he tried to recruit fellow climbers for an ascent, however, he ran into a problem. The mountains, people told him, were surrounded by Rocinha Favela, one of the largest slums in South America, and it would be very dangerous to get to the base.
The experience inspired Firestone to create BEYONDGear, an organization that aims to bring hope to children living in this area.
“My dream is to have created real social change through the power of rock climbing and through the power of adventure,” Firestone said in the video above.
Children in Rocinha Favela face a variety of difficulties and negative influences including drugs, violence and gang life. Climbing could help expand thier possibility, as well as provide a physical outlet, leadership skills and a constructive way for children to use their time.
To raise the funds, BEYONDGear makes jewelry, clothing and chalk bags inspired by climbing and the mountains around Rio. The proceeds will go to Firestone’s Urban Climbing School, which he founded in 2011 along with local climber and guide Andrew Lenz, where the wall will be constructed.
Click here to learn more about the project, the products and how you can contribute.
You can also visit the BEYONDGear website.