Working Lives: Rio de Janeiro
- 14 September 2012
- From the section World Radio and TV
Ronaldo Correia, known to his friends and around town as Panela, is a beach entrepreneur.
He grew up in the favela of Vidigal and first saw he could make money at the beach as a child.
When his mother was at work, he would go down the hill to the neighbouring Leblon beach because there was no food at home.
"I realized that I could collect cans to sell and make some money," he says.
Today, Panela is part of Rio's bustling beach business, where vendors sell a bit of everything, from bikinis and hammocks to pineapple and caipirinhas.
He opened his own stand 15 years ago, after years renting out chairs that he collected from the garbage and fixed.
It's a good business in the summer, but in the winter he has to manage the money earned in the high season. He makes more than $10,000 (£6,200) a year.
Rain or shine though, Mr Correia doesn't keep still. "I have to fix pans, I have to fix stoves, I do construction. Money has to come from somewhere. I do whatever makes an honest living," he says.
He is also a musician and is now running for city councilman in Brazil's municipal elections, in October. He wants to make a difference for his community.
"If Brazil is growing, why shouldn't Vidigal grow? I don't want a ton of tourists to come to Vidigal and say oh what a beautiful place - no - beautiful nothing! Beauty isn't everything. We need investment."