Working Lives: Rio de Janeiro
- 14 September 2012
- From the section World Radio and TV
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.