A typical sequence goes like this: "Wall, stone, henhouse, store, house, building, condominium," Pedro explains. Each one of these concepts has the same specific definition that makes their work easier. "Rocinha is constantly under construction," he adds. "It is possible that a month from now a henhouse is gone and there is a house there instead. For this reason we need to register everything; it's easier to make changes when we need to."When they finished the map, they patented it, and after this, they created a service to deliver Post Office mail called Friendly Mailman. It was a success, and also the first franchise in Brazil's history born in a slum. Currently, Friendly Mailman acts in eight slums in Rio.Each residence using the service pays a monthly fee—currently R$16 in Rocinha, or $6.64 USD. Their houses get an address, a number based on the order the service was hired. Every day the Post Office van stops by the Friendly Mailman office and leaves all mail for the community. The employees sort out those for their thousands of customers. Later, the Post Office van stops by to get whatever was left and then they park on top of the hill and allow people to look in the boxes to check if they have any mail.
A typical sequence goes like this: Wall, stone, henhouse, STORE, house, building, condominium.
"Are there problems with drug trafficking?" I asked."None," he said. "Do you think the drug lords don't want to get their mail? Do you think they don't want to buy tennis shoes over the internet? Everybody likes it. After the Friendly Mailman, sales bursted all over in Rocinha. And as you can see, there is a lot of money in this community, a lot of trade, most people living here are middle class. This is a characteristic of Rocinha. If you go to the Juramento hill, for instance, you won't see trade. It's a poorer community, and for that reason we charge less over there. If you look over the world, it is full of slums, and everybody needs mail service. So we are making money, which is good, but also supplying a service for the betterment of the community."We went back to the Friendly Mailman's headquarters for coffee. There is a large traditional map on the wall, showing all the alleys in the community. "Look at this," Pedro says. "We made this based on all our mapping. Google came by here last month. They asked if they could take a photo of our map. I said: 'No way.' Let them do their own."
No one will understand the map unless we explain how to use it.