Spring break, 2012. Once again, I jump on a long flight to Rio… This time my sponsor is the arbitrage of apple equipment. Little to no festas, samba, or late nights would await me in Brazil. This trip would be fully focused on climbing, progressing the CEU project, and setting up a supply chain for BEYONDgear chalk bags.
A colleague of mine at USC (thanks Rebecca!) sent me an article in GOOD magazine that highlighted the work of a special social entrepreneur in Rio, Mother Eunice. Eunice started Costura Unida, a community sewing coop that benefits the women in its community through economic opportunity. Costura Unida also provides a volunteer based day care center so the women who work their can have a safe place for their children. Unfortunately, some of the parents stopped coming back, so Mother Eunice started adopting. She now has 32 more children. Her enterprise is going strong, and I thought I would meet with her to see if they needed extra projects… they do. We are now working together to make BEYONDgear chalk bags that will benefit her community, sponsor kids to go climbing at CEU and help build out a super cool new brand of social impact adventure gear. We hope to have BEYONDgear chalk bags available by this summer. For more info on Costura Unida see: http://www.costuraunida.com.br
We also were able to get some great climbing in, as the weather finally behaved for us. We focused our attention on the North Face of Irmao Maior just above the Rocinha community. We made the infinite stair case trek up to the base of the wall multiple times and opened up some new pitches. My favorite was a beautiful slanting crack (seen below). This line was filled with dozens of wasp nests but lucky for us they were all unoccupied. Our goal of opening up new routes here is to help make this wall above Rocinha into a premier climbing destination in Rio.