Our Local Social Leaders - Rocinha Favela


Tia Iris Santos - Director

Iris was born and raised in the Rocinha favela. Her father (Tio Lino) was a social leader who turned their childhood home into a community center. After her fathers death Iris decided to live out his legacy, not only keeping the doors open but by growing the projects. Iris and her family community center are core partners of ACE and our “home base” in the favela.


Tony Barros - Photography & Media Manager

Originally from Cidade de Deus (City of God), one of Rio’s most notorious favelas, Tony is a self-taught photographer who turned his passion into a full time job and since has had photos published internationally. Tony teaches the children the power of media and helped produced MÃE, a photo exhibition where the children photographed the power of the mother in the favela. The exhibition has been held in London, Ireland, Toulouse, Perpignan and Rio.


Tio Vitor da Silva - Tennis Manager

Vitor was born and raised in Rocinha favela. His passion for tennis helped him escape the favelas hardship and pursue a career in tennis coaching. He later decided to give back the community and is now running ACE’s large tennis project. Vitor conducts a team of 5 employees including three more tennis coaches, a project coordinator and court maintenance.


Tio Kikinho & Tio Leo - Breakdancing Professors

Kikinho and Leo were born in marginalised communities in the north zone of Rio. Growing up they watched many of their friends succumb to the pressure of joining drug gangs, but Kikinho and Leo chose an alternative route, and followed their passion of dance. Since, both have preformed in world class competitions and built a life for themselves. Kikinho and Leo are an inspiration to us and to the students at ACE.


Tio Fabio Maura - Art Therapist

Fabio (the newest member of the team) is our on site therapist helping children express themselves through art in with a goal of healing trauma and realize opportunities inside and outside the favela. .

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