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Residents from the nearby Providencia ‘favela’ community swim and cool off in the polluted Guanabara Bay in the historic port district in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Providencia ‘favela’ is considered to be the oldest in Rio. The polluted bay will host sailing events during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Ahead of the games, the port district is undergoing a controversial multibillion dollar urban renewal program although some projects have been delayed in the midst of Brazil’s recession. Many parts of the port district retain descendants of African slaves along with Afro-Brazilian historical locations including the area where samba music is thought to have been born in Rio.
Vinicius, who is homeless, poses with his cat Nega on his bed where he sleeps on an abandoned ship floating on the polluted Guanabara Bay, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games sailing venue in Niteroi, Brazil. Following sicknesses to U.S. athletes during a recent rowing event and a study showing dangerous amounts of viral levels in all Rio Olympic water venues, the IOC has controversially ruled out the possibility of viral testing of the sewage-laden waters ahead of the Olympics. Abandoned vessels have been linked to various environmental hazards.
Small boats sit on the shore of Guanabara Bay in the suburb of São Gonçalo, across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The bay was home to a thriving artisanal fishing industry and popular palm-lined beaches as recently as the late-1970s, but has become a watery dump for waste from shipyards and two commercial ports.