Surfing Takes Brazilian Kids Out of Rio Slum

  • Gabriel de Lima, 13, stretches before surfing at Sao Conrado beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Not long ago, many of these kids were begging on the streets or engaged in crime, but two surf schools serving youth from Rio’s largest slum, Rocinha, have helped change that. | (AP Photo)
  • Marcio Pereira da Silva, right, founder of the Rocinha Surf Association (ASR), is helped by young surfers as they store boards at their headquarters at Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ASR has given free lessons to over 2,000 children from Rio’s shantytowns in the hopes of keeping the boys, who are mostly in their early teens and a few girls occupied by the sport and off the streets. | (AP Photo)
  • Boards stand lined up at the Rocinha Surf Association, ASR, headquarters at Rocinha slum in Rio. ASR has given free lessons to over 2,000 children from Rio’s shanty towns. | (AP Photo)
  • Magno Neves walks in an alley in the Cantagalo slum on his way to the nearby Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro. “My dream until today is to be a pro surfer,” said Neves, who works as a dog-walker to make ends meet. | (AP Photo)
  • Christian da Conceicao, 11, shows a signed polaroid photo of him and friends with U.S. surfer John John Florence at Sao Conrado beach in Rio de Janeiro. Everyday barefoot boys hustle down the inclined alleyways of the slums and head to nearby Sao Conrado or Arpoador beach, where they catch waves and momentarily leave their impoverished lives behind. | (AP Photo)
  • Magno Neves surfs at Arpoador beach in Rio. Neves, discovered the sport at age 8 after a surf teacher spotted him skateboarding in the slum and taught him how to surf. | (AP Photo)
  • A young bodyboarder from Rocinha watches the waves before surfing at Sao Conrado beach. | (AP Photo)
  • Magno Neves dives with his board at Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | (AP Photo)