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Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic by Hugh Sinclair

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13 The Good, the Bad, and the Poor

Favelas, or slums, litter Latin America, not just Brazil, where the word originated. They are parking lots for people. No one intends to live in a favela forever; they intend to use the slums as a springboard into a new life. Many migrate from the countryside to the big city in search of work, a better life, the chances that rural society no longer offers them. Half the planet now lives in cities, and favelas house a decent proportion of them. Quickly erected, lawless, often without the basic amenities many take for granted, favelas are sufficiently large to develop their own characters. Many inhabitants are never able to leave, because the new life never emerges. For me, the favela is a place of hope. The ...

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