...isn't quite what our mental image would suggest:
Beatriz Soares, 21, a resident of Complexo da Maré, falls into this middle class status, despite the fact that water, sewerage, electricity and gas are not regulated in her home. “I’ve never missed anything here at home,” says Soares, a student of Journalism. Her parents run a bakery in the slum and have a monthly income in excess of R$2,000. This income allowed Soares to study in private schools, today making progress in English and Theatre studies.
Soares demonstrates an increased consumption among families of the slums: she has health insurance, her own car, computer and cell phone. Furthermore, her spending on clothing is constant. “I love buying clothes from stores in the mall,” says Soares. She is not alone in her lifestyle. Instituto Data Favela found that most households in the slums have refrigerators (99 %), washing machines (69 %) or microwaves (55%), with many also owning a plasma, LED or LCD TV (46 %), or freezer (38%).
The central point here, the thing that makes Complexo da Maré a 'slum', is that word 'regulation'. People have sanitation, running water, electricity and gas but it is not as regulated or controlled as is the case with those parts of Sao Paulo that aren't 'slums'.