Base Camp Blog

Can Climbing Help Residents of Brazil's Slums?

Courtesy of BEYONDGear

BEYONDGear is a new organization, started by American climber Asa Firestone, that aims to raise money to support a climbing school and build a climbing wall in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. These favelasare stacked up against the granite domes and spires that rise above the city, but few of the impoverished residents ever experience the fantastic climbing nearby. Firestone and his partners hope that teaching local kids to climb will expand their sense of possibility and provide new opportunities.

BEYONDGear makes jewelry, clothing, and chalk bags inspired by climbing and the mountains above Rio. Proceeds support the CEU (Urban Climbing School), which Firestone cofounded with local climber and guide Andrew Lenz in 2011. The school hopes to build a large wall in Rocinha Favela, one of the largest slums in South America.

Visit BEYONDGear's website to learn more, or go to the donation page to contribute and pick up some swag.

Beyond Gear; The Beginnings from Dominic Gill on Vimeo.


Previous Comments

Giving these poor kids a chance to climb expands their horizons and provides them a chance to have cool experiences, and that's a good enough reason to support it. But anybody who thinks a few days out on the rocks will assist most of them in moving their lives in a positive direction is naive.

Marc B - 12/16/2012 2:18:53

Very cool. I like it and will do what I cann !!!

Tim murdock - 12/05/2012 4:24:52

A man was walking on the beach after a heavy storm. The sand was covered with starfish that has washed ashore during the storm. The starfish would die being out of the water. The man spotted a young woman on the beach who was picking up the starfish and throwing them back into the Ocean. The man approached her saying, "why bother. You can't save them all. There are so many it won't make a difference." The woman picked up another starfish and threw if back into the water. She looked at the man and said, "made a difference to that one."

Kristine Guido - 11/29/2012 9:12:34

So excited to see where this goes! Building infrastructure like climbing walls makes perfect sense and will challenge and inspire these kids for years and years to come. Worth every penny. Cleverly the BeyondGear model also inspires the contributing side of the equation by providing cool gear in return. I'm going in for a hat and chalk bag on this one! Good luck guys!

Charles Ince - 11/27/2012 8:53:31

Disagree, climbing helped me a ton, why can't it help kids from the favelas? Especially if they can get jobs as guides.

Safetydilla - 11/27/2012 1:12:21

savas, why do you say that so absolutely? You don't think climbing can at least help them? I live in Rocinha and have met people here who've gone on to the professional surfing circuit after taking classes at the nearby Surfe Escola. Who says climbing can't do the same?

hj - 11/27/2012 9:43:09

I believe that climbing can help the underprivileged. The sport is very rewarding physically and mentally. This is a great! Good luck!

Jeff - 11/27/2012 9:39:58

no, it can not. But the residents will have a hell of a day for sure.

savas - 11/27/2012 8:24:53