Can Climbing Help Residents of Brazil’s Slums?
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.