Porto da Pedra
Its name meaning “port of stone”, the Porto da Pedra Samba School emerged from a football (soccer) club with roots tied to a street gang. The school is from Niteroi, a village across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, and took part in its first Samba Parade in 1975. GRES Porto da Pedra was officially made a Samba School in time for the 1978 Samba Parade. Investing heavily in its early days through money received from sponsors, Porto da Pedra quickly moved up the ranks, and became a leading force in the Samba competitions by buying the nation’s top Carnival designers from other Samba Schools — fitting for a Samba School whose symbol is a tiger. Porto da Pedra was promoted to the Special Group in 1995, and has fought hard to maintain that status over the past decade.
The school is known for taking risks by taking on controversial themes about topics like maniacs, thieves, prostitutes, and freaks. Many Carnival experts suggest that in order for the school to win an overall Rio Carnival title, the school needs to focus less on its over-the-top and controversial themes and more on its costumes, choreography, and floats, where they can truly stun the audience and impress the judges.
Service Projects: In 2003, Porto da Pedra launched a program called the Crescer e Viver (to grow and live) Initiative. Crescer e Viver is a philanthropic organization that focuses on building partnerships with international aid organizations, such as UNESCO, to work in the community. According to its mission statement, Crescer e Viver especially focuses on promoting the welfare of the neighborhood’s local children through investments in education, the arts, and by engaging in various cultural activities. Ultimately, its aim is to “[help] them participate in the construction of a more just and democratic society.” Porto da Pedra’s efforts have apparently paid off. São Gonçalo, Porto da Pedra’s hometown, is a neighborhood in Rio with a population of 950,000. The literacy rate in São Gonçalo is an astounding 95% and the neighborhood boasts 199 health centers, 57 of which are public.
Don’t miss Porto da Pedra as they parade through the Sambadrome on Carnival! Book your Rio Carnival Tickets today!!
Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)
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