Christmas in Cracolandia

Gabriella struggles with all her gifts as adults in the area lean against a wall.

Gabriella struggles with all her gifts as adults in the area lean against a wall. (photo by Anna Reed)

Today Brianna and I went with the NGO Cristolandia to give Christmas presents to children living in and around Cracolandia.

Children wait in line for their Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

Children wait in line for their Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

Children stand under a bridge near train tracks in the Cracolandia area of São Paulo. (photo by Anna Reed)

Children stand under a bridge near train tracks in the Cracolandia area of São Paulo. (photo by Anna Reed)

Cracolandia is an area in the Luz region of São Paulo that is populated with people who are addicted to crack. Locals call the area Cracolandia. Men, women and children of all ages and races live in the area and spend every moment looking for their next fix. Crack is a drug that has a short-lasting high, so many people are often on edge waiting for their next hit.

The slum near Cracolandia. (photo by Anna Reed)

The slum near Cracolandia. (photo by Anna Reed)

Children are lead in prayer by Cristolandia volunteers before receiving their Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

Children are lead in prayer by Cristolandia volunteers before receiving their Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A child who lives in Cracolandia smiles for the camera. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A child who lives in Cracolandia smiles for the camera. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

We have been going to the area all this past week, trying to gain trust and get familiar with the area and the people. We haven’t posted any photos before today because showing a camera can be dangerous. Many people get angry and become aggressive when seeing a camera.

Toys lefts behind to make way for new Christmas gifts in Cracolandia. (photo by Anna Reed)

Toys lefts behind to make way for new Christmas gifts in Cracolandia. (photo by Anna Reed)

Kids run to the Cristolandia volunteers to receive their Christmas gifts. (photo by Anna Reed)

Kids run to the Cristolandia volunteers to receive their Christmas gifts. (photo by Anna Reed)

The gift-giving outing today gave us a chance to make photos in a less threatening way. The children were all very cute, and many were interested in our cameras and our American English. It was definitely a wonderful way for both of us to spend Christmas Eve. Most of the adults in the slum near Cracolandia smoke crack, so giving something to the kids was really great. I think I speak for both of us when saying it has been our best and most meaningful Christmas ever.

A girl poses for the camera after receiving Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A girl poses for the camera after receiving Christmas gifts. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A woman peers over a door to see what the Cristolandia volunteers are doing. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A woman peers over a door to see what the Cristolandia volunteers are doing. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A child drinks a bottle outside his family's home in a slum in the Cracolandia area of São Paulo. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

A child drinks a bottle outside his family’s home in a slum in the Cracolandia area of São Paulo. (photo by Brianna Soukup)

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays!

-Anna

Advertisements

About Anna Reed
Anna Reed is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Omaha, Neb. She is a recipient of the Peter Kiewit Legacy scholarship, Susan Buffett scholarship, and several others within the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Her work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, USA Today and the Hearst Foundation. Her first internship was in a town of 1,600 people where she was the only photographer for six weekly papers. She has since been the photo and video editor for the Daily Nebraskan and a photo fellow for the Omaha World-Herald. She now works as a staff photojournalist for the Lincoln Journal Star. Throughout college, Reed has studied and worked in Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, India, Brazil and Ethiopia. This summer she will intern at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

2 Responses to Christmas in Cracolandia

  1. Dennis Bristol says:

    Anna, you rock!

  2. You realize therefore significantly in terms of this topic, made me for my part believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: