I was saddened to hear about the death of Jorge Selarón, the creator of the steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that have carried his name for over two decades. As of now the reason for his death has not been confirmed. Meanwhile his neighbors are devastated and his family in Chile has not been located.

I visited the steps several years ago when I visited Rio. Selarón was there, minding his business and chatting with both locals and visitors. The ceramic tiles he had affixed on the nondescript staircase glistened in the sun, and I was immediately smitten. Despite the reputation the neighborhood had for being infested with crime and drug use, I found the neighborhood rustic and charming. The houses surrounding the staircases were colorful and attractive in their own right, but the Escadaria Selarón (Selarón Staircase) really stood out. Now the light of the neighborhood is gone; I just hope his staircase will continue to shine.

Here are a few photos from when I visited Rio in 2004. Travel to Rio is not complete without a visit to Selarón's steps.




Jorge Selaron, Escadaria Selarón, Selarón Staircase, Jorge Selaron death, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, ceramic tiles, travel, Leon Kaye

Jorge Selarón received tiles from around the world

Jorge Selaron, Escadaria Selarón, Selarón Staircase, Jorge Selaron death, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, ceramic tiles, travel, Leon Kaye

The Selarón steps became a popular tourist attraction

Jorge Selaron, Escadaria Selarón, Selarón Staircase, Jorge Selaron death, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, ceramic tiles, travel, Leon Kaye

The Selarón steps link the neighborhoods Lapa and Santa Teresa

Jorge Selaron, Escadaria Selarón, Selarón Staircase, Jorge Selaron death, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, ceramic tiles, travel, Leon Kaye

This work by Jorge Selarón never ended

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.