A humble homage to Obama in Brazil's 'City of God'

A bakery owner in the infamous 'City of God' slum in Rio de Janeiro coincidentally named his shop after President Obama only months before Obama's visit.

Fabio Pozzebom/AP
President Obama during his visit to the City of God.

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

It seems that bakery owner João Carlos de Sousa somehow knew what would be on the travel agenda for President Obama’s recent trip to Brazil.

In the weeks leading up to Obama’s March 19-20 visit, rumors ran through the local press that the president would visit a favela (shantytown) with a new model of policing unit, but no one knew which one.

Last June, Mr. de Sousa renamed his living-room-sized baked goods shop, located in the heart of the world-famous favela City of God, “Padaria e Confeitaria Barack Obama Ltda.”

He simply says he changed the name because he kept hearing “Barack Obama” on the news and from friends. “It’s an homage,” he explains.

And nearly a year after doing so, Obama chose City of God as the favela to visit and waved to de Sousa’s neighbors a stone’s throw from the shop.

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