Brazilian Center brings culture of Brazil to Sacramento

This Saturday marks the 2nd year of the colorful and energetic Brazilian Carnaval celebration. Behind the scenes of this celebration is the Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento, a local non-profit organization striving to assist at-risk children and bring the community together through culture, education, and social justice.

At the time of the Center’s founding in 2010 there were about 4,000 Brazilians living in the Sacramento area, yet, Executive Director Saara Burga says, “Brazilians had to constantly travel great distances in order to stay in touch with social life, entertainment, translation services, documentation, and their Brazilian Culture.” Seeing a need for these services in Sacramento, the Center was founded, and local Brazilians no longer need to leave the city to obtain them.

The Center also serves as a catalyst for exposing the Sacramento community to the traditions of Brazilian culture, through large events such as Carnaval, as well as many other classes and programs. Burga says, “We would love for Sacramento to catch on the spirit of Carnaval, or different styles of Brazilian music and dance.”

At the event this Saturday, Sacramento nightlife will be filled with Brazilian performers, dancers, and musicians will convene for a culture-filled evening. Attendees will be able to take in the sights and sounds of Brazil right here in Sacramento while enjoying tasty food and drink (including Brazil’s national cocktail—caipirinhas)! Now in its second year, the Carnaval is implementing many new aspects, including electing a Sacramento King and Queen of Carnaval.

When they’re not busy pulling together Carnaval, the Brazilian Center organizes community potlucks and get-togethers, teaches Portuguese classes, and offers  dance classes in a number of styles, including zumba, belly dance, afro dance, and samba. They also offer several programs, including a Teens at Risk Program and Teen Single Mother’s Program. The Center contains a store as well, which stocks Brazilian grocery products, cultural items, and apparel.

Stay in touch with the Brazilian Center through their website & Facebook.

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This article is part of a monthly feature by Sacramento365.com on local arts organizations and businesses making a difference in the Sacramento community.

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Written by Sacramento365.com Assistant Editor, Alison Kranz

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