Dom Hélder Câmara, the Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, formed a great friendship with Abbé Pierre beginning in 1957.
The two men shared the same desire to work for the most disadvantaged people, from both a social and ecclesiastical perspective. In 1963, he asked Abbé Pierre to send a volunteer to Brazil to create the country’s first Emmaus community. Abbé Pierre seconded a French volunteer, Jean-Yves Olichon. Emmaus Rio went on to offer shelter and support to up to 800 male prison leavers and prisoners on parole, providing them with vocational training with the aim being to integrate them back into Brazilian society. This community left the Movement in 1991 but other organisations have taken up the torch in several cities and states of this vast country.