Supporting the Rehab


Outside the kitchen area, the guys show us their soap-making room. Bottles of green, purple, and white disinfectant soaps are stacked in neat rows, filling plastic crates ready for sale. They recycle two-liter soda bottles, scrubbing and washing them outside and then organizing them to be filled inside. There are two cement washing sinks filled with bottles caps ready for use. The guys are eager to show us their finished product. They smell fresh, clean, lavender, citrus.


Ricardo is one of the guys who takes the soaps to sell in the city. The two-liter bottles sell for five reais (about $2.50). They go door to door in the mornings, and then sell at the street lights in the afternoons. The guys responsible for producing and selling the soap, like Ricardo, get a cut of the profits to save for when they are ready to leave the rehab. Jobs like these give them a sense of purpose. Saving money helps them prepare for the future. And as they work together to provide for the rehab, and to work to make it more functional, they take pride in their responsibilities.


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