Working Lives: Rio de Janeiro

WATCH: Damiao Aranha has worked for 55 years in the same apartment block

Damiao Aranha, 78, was born in Paraiba, in the northeast of Brazil.

As with many others from the region, he packed his bags and moved to Rio in search of opportunity when he was 18 years old.

He first earned a living as a construction worker, but soon found a job for which there is high demand: as a doorman for one of Rio's gated buildings.

Mr Aranha has worked at the same apartment block in Ipanema for the past 55 years. It is on a calm street just a block away from the beach. He starts working at 7am every day.

He says all the problems in the building are handled by him, and he tries to resolve any issues the residents have.

At 78, Mr Aranha receives retirement money from the government, but does not want to stop working. "I think work is good for your health," he says. He earns about $11,000 (£6,800) a year.

He lives on the top floor of the building, in a modest apartment he shares with his youngest son. He was only able to complete elementary school, because at age 10 he had to start working in the fields to help bring food home. His oldest son is now doing a postdoctoral fellowship in physics in the United States.

"Not bad for a doorman's son," Mr Aranha says.

Features & Analysis

  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    How Korea helped prostitutes work near US military bases

  • LuckyDumped

    The rubbish collector left on the scrap heap as his city goes green

  • Jamal Bryant'Buying black'

    Ferguson campaign targets Black Friday

  • A picture of Michael Brown displayed during his memorial service.Smoke screen

    Why did Michael Brown prosecutors focus on marijuana?

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out


  • A model with a projection mapped onto her faceClick Watch

    Face hacking - how to use a computer to turn your face into a work of digital art

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.