My Story

Marcia Ferreira da Costa, founder of UMPMRS and me.

I am originally from Bellingham, WA, with an American father and a Brazilian mother, but I have lived throughout the United States. I graduated from American University in 2006 with a degree in International Relations and studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. I have previously traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and went on a humanitarian trip to Calcutta, India with the High Cloud Foundation in 2009.

From January 2011 until August 2011 I traveled throughout South America.  I spent time in Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, the Pantanal, Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires. On that trip I was able to meet extended family members, practice my Portuguese and learn more about Brazilian culture.

Me in Salvador, Bahia.

The last stop on my trip was to volunteer for one month in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, Rocinha. This was the most interesting part of my trip as I got to live in the favela, explore a culture unfamiliar to me, and work there as a volunteer. During that time I also started the project Fotos For Favelas.

Me in Brazil’s Capital, Brasilia

I am now back in the United States but want to continue my involvement with the children and NGO in Rocinha through this photography project.