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Abrace Inc - Brazilian Association of Culture and Education

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Public Foundations

Mission: ABRACE’s mission is to preserve and promote Brazilian education and cultural and social integration in the Brazilian community with the aim of strengthening its identity within the United States.

Target demographics: families and children with Brazilian connection to keep their cultural heritage alive and live honoring of their roots and background

Direct beneficiaries per year: 280 children, 130 families, 32 teachers.

Geographic areas served: the DC metropolitan area

Programs: classes on Brazilian language and culture for children, community-building activities such as Book and Cultural Fairs and annual folkloric celebrations, educational workshops for parents and teachers, workshops for children on sports, music and drama, literature and storytelling and much more.

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two daughters have been attending the Portuguese as a heritage language classes at ABRACE for four years. ABRACE is a welcoming place where my kids have a chance to not only practice the language every week, but also meet with others in our community and develop a sense of identity. They feel at home with teachers who greet them with a big smile and friends who, like them, speak the same language, have vovôs and primos (grandparents and cousins) in Brazil, who read the same comics and eat the same food. Our Saturdays are filled with joy and warmth. Thank you to the amazing team of administrators who have been growing this organization and the teachers who are endlessly dedicated and passionate about passing on our language and culture to the next generation!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE has a dear place in my family's heart. My daughters, 3 and 6, take Portuguese as a Heritage Language classes every Saturday. The teachers are dedicated, the staff is knowledgeable, the volunteers are passionate, the students are fun. We also enjoy their cultural events. Lots of good food, music and books in Portuguese (the only place we find that in the DC area). We love ABRACE. It's become more than just a school for us. It has given us many friendships and a sense of belonging outside of Brazil. THANK YOU!

Read more

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3 children have attended ABRACE, it has been part of our lives for at least 7 years! The school has provided us with a bit of Brazil in the DC area: the language, the culture, the people, food, festivities, even a whole mobile library! ABRACE is the work of many incredibly dedicated people and deserves all of our recognition and support to continue to serve so many families in the journey of keeping our culture and heritage alive for this and next generations. Thank you, ABRACE!

2 SandraLA

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been connected to ABRACE in the last 2 years. It is a piece of Brazil in Washington DC area. My students and I (the adult class) have a lot of fun! What I hear most from them is how they feel welcomed and immersed in Brazilian culture. For me, as an educator, is a wonderful place to work and share my heritage!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE has been essential to nurturing and growing our children's Brazilian heritage while living in the USA. I think it would have been very difficult for me to maintain speaking Portuguese at home without ABRACE. I did not have huge expectations when we signed up for class, but this group of Brazilian (mostly) moms absolutely blew me away!!! The coordination and execution of the weekly Portuguese/ Brazilian cultural classes is amazing. A lot of love goes into the weekly classes, but also an incredible amount of professionalism and high-quality teaching. And they think of everything - a meet up room where parents can work if they want to stick around during classes (because families like us drive from pretty far to be a part of the group!), an extensive library of books in Portuguese, a really impressive youth volunteer program, workshops about speaking Portuguese at home, a story time for infants, a book fair, a Carnaval parade, a reading program, and just a really welcoming and great group of people!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE is an amazing place for us Brazilian expats. I started going to ABRACE as a teacher and now both my daughters take Portuguese classes there. Is a place where they see our language goes beyond them and me and they can learn more of our culture as well as making new friends.

I love ABRACE's work and hope this organization never stops spreading the love for our language and country!

3 Daniel Bloomfield R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE has been a beacon of Brazilian culture and education that has helped my wife and I--both Brazilian immigrants--give our six year old daughter the opportunity to learn, speak, and interact with other bicultural kids in the DC Metro region. We have been participating for over three years and can't say enough good things about the dedication of the teachers, the events that are promoted, and resources available (e.g., the small--but wonderful--mobile library filled with books for various age groups). Our daughter loves coming here.

3 Cristiane Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE is very important to the Brazilian community and American-Brazilian families living in the states of DC-MD-VA because it is the only organization in this area that teaches Brazilian Portuguese language and culture. The impact of ABRACE in our lives goes beyond the "knowledge" about Brazilian language and culture, it creates, especially in young people a sense of identity and belonging that help shape their character for life.

2 Renata J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Both my children have attended ABRACE. It's not just a school where they learn Portuguese; it's a place where they can experience Brazil outside Brazil. It's where we meet our Brazilian community in the Washington area, where we feel at home. It's run by dedicated directors, teachers, directors, and volunteers, who work hard to pass on our language, culture, and traditions to our children. I highly recommend ABRACE.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Imagine you are all alone trying to teach the language of your parents, your country, your heart to your children. You are determined. You see it as your mission. But the odds are against you.

I am from Brazil. I didn't grow up watching baseball and celebrating Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean I come from nothing. The richness of where I come from -- my language, my culture, my history and my parents -- is what I can give to my children.

Enter Abrace, an organization of people who will have your back and think of everything to help you in this task that is so much more than simply teaching Portuguese.

Your little one is more of a sports guy and will connect with Brazil via soccer? Abrace offers a soccer class. Your children need access to books in Portuguese? Abrace launches a library. It is Children's Day ? It organizes a celebration.

Yes, thanks to Abrace, my 13-year-old is confident in his writing and has a renewed interest in reading in Portuguese. But, just as important, he loves Abrace and he learns Portuguese while having FUN (is there really another way to learn?).

Abrace makes my mission so much easier. I am not alone.

Todos juntos somos fortes
Somos flecha e somos arco
Todos nós no mesmo barco
Não há nada pra temer!










Client Served

Rating: 5

Abrace is one of the only organizations in the Washington area that promotes Brazilian culture, specifically focused on children. In my experience the teachers are excellent, the classes are well organized, and the cost of the classes is very reasonable. Getting involved in Abrace is a great way to ensure your children get a little bit of a Brazilian education while they are here in the U.S.

1 Ligia Jorio

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE is the perfect complement and extension of Brazil for my family. Brazil is so rich in many aspects and I can only give them what I know from my home state Minas Gerais. Abrace adds to what I give to them in terms of culture, music, literature, etc. My 3 children are bilingual and when people ask me why they go to a Brazilian school since they already speak Portuguese, my answer is always the same, the Brazilian Portuguese language and culture is the the most precious gift I can give to my Children. Rafael, Gabriela and Luiza go to ABRACE to learn more about Brazil, and not just the Portuguese language. They are there to learn music, folklore, culture, literature, theater, food, etc in Portuguese from all parts of Brazil.
My kids love ABRACE and they are there since 2 1/2 years old. They are now 11, 10, and 8 years old. Thanks ABRACE for being such a wonderful extension of our beloved Brasil!!!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE is part of my family. Every week, ABRACE gives to my kids what I can not fully give them during the week - our rich and diverse Brazilian culture. My kids are fluent in Portuguese and the older ones are already reading in Portuguese. They don't go to ABRACE to learn Portuguese, because this is my job, as a mother. My native language is the least I can give to my kids. ABRACE gives them our culture and our passion for our country and flag. At ABRACE, they are exposed to our folclore, our arts, our music, our customes, our lingo. It is the only place where they will find other people just like them in a different country. ABRACE gives them an identity. It shows our kids that it is, not only ok, but cool to speak Portugues and be Brasileiro. I feel very proud as a parent to be able to give them this amazing gift.
At ABRACE they were able to meet Pedro Bandeira, a famous writer in Brazil; they were able to see a performance from the Brazilian Artistic Group Emcantar, from Minas Gerais (our native state), right here in the DC area.
This is ABRACE, the best we can get from our Brazil in the USA.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ABRACE has made possible for me and my family, especially my children, to stay connected and in direct contact with our heritage, language, and culture. It provides an opportunity for the Brazilian community to gather and work towards the same goal which is to maintain the Brazilian language and culture alive in the lives of children and teenagers living outside Brazil. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for families to socialize and interact. Some of my best friends I found through ABRACE. It is also worthwhile mentioning that ABRACE serves an important role in connecting the community with the local Brazilian Embassy and Consulate, often offering programs in partnership with them such as sessions (usually speeches or talks) on a variety of topics that are of interest to the Brazilian community living in the greater DC area.

Cintia Fernandes C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Abrace is an outstanding nonprofit organization. As it claims, Abrace works towards preserving and promoting Brazilian education and cultural and social integration in the Brazilian community with the aim of strengthening its identity within the United States. And it does so beautifully! From the passion of its founders to the amount of work to keep it running, this nonprofit deserves recognition for the amazing work they do! I am grateful for having them for my family, for my children.

Luciana M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE is one of the best things that happened in my life living in the US. It makes me feel like I am in Brazil even being miles away. I made amazing friends, and my kids beg to go to Portuguese school. They wish it was available every day of the week, and not only on Saturdays. It helps them practice their Portuguese and get closer to the Brazilian culture. I love hear them singing and playing in portuguese. I am very grateful for being part of this community!

Ruth73

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ABRACE assists and develops transmission of knowledge about the culture and the Portuguese language. Important for all of us who live far from our country and we want to be in touch with our culture, we move on to our children how to be Brazilian. Language is culture. There is no other form of description. Understanding more comprehensive and profound way what language, what is culture and what identity is fundamental to all of us.
In this paper transmitter and disseminator of Brazilian culture ABRACE is fundamental in our lives.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ABRACE is a serious and committed association focused on teaching the heritage of Portuguese language. It is a pleasure that every Saturday I can be reunited with loved ones that are dedicated and hardworking that teach the wonders of the Brazilian culture. It is beautiful to see our little ones so interested in learning about Brazil and its culture. I have been a teacher at ABRACE for several years and I am proud to belong to this fantastic Brazilian educational community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Abrace plays a very important role in our lives as a Brazilian-American family. Our daughter has the opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture while practicing her Portuguese. Most importantly she is exposed to an environment with families of a similar background, and to Portuguese-speaking children of her age. Our family contributes to Abrace through volunteering, and my husband is also taking language classes. We hope Abrace continues to enrich our experience as a bilingual family for years to come.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Abrace has been an essential part of our Brazilian/ American family. It nurtures a friendly, and fun environment where our 3 kids can cultivate and maintain not only the Portuguese language as well their cultural ties to Brazil through reading , fun games and activities. It really serves us as a cultural bridge as we transitioned from move back from Brazil to the USA, and Abrace has been essential to maintaining healthy ties to Brazil. Our children look forward to every Saturday morning classes.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE is more than a Portuguese school for little Brazilian-Americans. It is a place where Americans can go not only to learn Portuguese but to get immersed in the Brazilian culture. This is helpful for people traveling to the country for business or tourism purposes alike. There are several high level Brazilian executives that have kids in this school so the professional networking can be powerful. My son is making life-long friendships and keeping Brazil alive in his heart. ABRACE is an unique place, led by passionate and committed parents and kept vibrant by the love of the community.

1 Karina G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ABRACE is a magical place where all the magic happens in Portuguese! I feel closer to Brasil every Saturday morning where I get to see all these amazing people I met 2 years ago, when I started working at ABRACE!
It is wonderful to be able to pass the Brazilian culture, language, music, geography and so much more to my students in such a friendly and rich environment!

2 Cristiane S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Abrace does a great job teaching Portuguese as a heritage language. There people have helped me and my family to find a sense of community. The activities are related to cultural diversity and sense of community for Brazilian people in Washington DC Area. My social life is better and happier after Abrace.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Abrace's children program helps bridge the gap between my cultural background as a person born in Brazil and my children's (born and raised in the USA). It is a place where our first generation American children can find other kids who share a similar experience and enjoy their Brazilian heritage.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an American who has had the opportunity and privilege of having lived in and travelled to a plurality of global locations, I can unhesitatingly say that my acquisition of the languages and cultures of the people that I love is strongly tied to embracing and being embraced by a family. Just as Brazil is a very welcoming country, so is Abrace, which embraces families and provides the cultural and language community that help families deepen the bonds that foster language synthesis and cultural appreciation. My family loves the Abrace family and have been members of Abrace since 2013, when we returned to the US, after having lived for a number of years in Brazil.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE is amazing. It does only get the kids engage in learning g portuguese; ABRACE teaches our children to love and respect our culture, our language, our people
ABRACE is indeed an extension of our family.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE is the best. My 2 older kids love Saturday morning when they get to meet their brazilian friends a speak our language. My little one is 3 years old but can't wait to get started
ABRACE is much more then a portuguese school. ABRACE is part of our FAMILY.

5 Ale A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A Abrace, para mim, está diretamente relacionada à proximidade com o Brasil de uma maneira singular. A possibilidade de falar, escrever, pensar, ressignificar conceitos, em Português, faz com que eu me sinta mais próxima de casa.
Apesar dos muitos anos de experiência em educação e do muito que vi, me encanto, me espanto e me emociono com o beleza do trabalho, com o comprometimento e, sobretudo, com a história de vida desse lugar que oferece um pedaço de Brasil a todos nós.

4 Marilia M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A animação das crianças, nos sábados de manhã, a alegria com que vão para as aulas na ABRACE, onde encontram sua turma, sua família maior, a brasileira, a que fala português, é uma festa, é de um valor inestimável!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

A ABRACE foi muito importante para a minha família quando chegamos aos Estados Unidos, longe de tudo e de todos.
Nos proporcionou uma convivência com outras crianças, aumentou a auto-estima, ambientou, aconchegou e consolidou toda a transição do português para o inglês e para a nova cultura.
Tive também a excelente oportunidade de trocar experiências com outras mães que já moravam aqui por mais tempo.
Tudo isso, fazendo com que ainda estivéssemos ligados ao Brasil, mesmo estando tão longe, falando em um bom e gostoso português.
Eu diria que a ABRACE é um território brasileiro em Washington/ DC, nos trazendo a deliciosa recordação dos sabores das comidas, dos cheiros das flores, das músicas folclóricas e da MPB, das brincadeiras de roda, das danças, dos esportes, dos lugares e das cidades...

2 Harumi N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, who is 4, has mastered Portuguese, even though everywhere on his environment English is the main language. He learned so much for the time he was taking classes at Abrace, and not just the language, but also the whole cultural heritage. The teachers are excelent and I just feel super blessed for having this little "Brazil" right here in the DC area. The tuition is very very reasonable, and the extra-curriculum activities promoted is even more enriching. Congrats to this association for the great hard work!

2 Luis G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The work that ABRACE is doing in Washington DC is unique, they work with wonderful educators and have a profound impact in the lives of the children they work with. I particularly like to see them so involved in a constant search for knowledge in methodology and curriculum building, while at the same time, very generously, sharing their own findings rooted in their pedagogical experience. This allows for a very productive exchange between researchers and practitioners of heritage language (Portuguese) instruction, and I thank them very much for engaging in this and making us all so much better than we would be otherwise.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A ABRACE é um verdadeiro abraço! Abraço com sabor de Brasil!
É uma alegria ter participado no passado deste projeto e continuar acompanhando cada nova conquista.
Espaço de encontro e de reencontro, a ABRACE tem feito um trabalho fundamental e indispensável, não só no ensino do Português, mas como veículo de resgate social e cultural.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have taught children`s theatre with ABRACE, and found the experience extremely rewarding. Children`s creativity amazed me during class, and all expressed themselves effectively in Portuguese, different as their levels of fluency might be.
I appreciate ABRACE`s competitive professional and cultural standards, its transparency and accountability.
Most of all, the commitment to preserving and sharing Brazilian heritage and language is extraordinary (finding a way when there appears to be none!)- in all activities, successfully combining cultural and playful elements. This is very encouraging for all Brazilians who want to feel this connectedness away from home and pass it on to our children.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known ABRACE for many years, first as a parent of a student and more recently as a board member. It always amazes me what this organization does with so little. As a board member, it has been a pleasure to see the organization grow, not only in the size of the student body, but also in the professionalism of its management and financial structure. I also admire the dedication of all of the professionals involved with the organization, most of whom are volunteers but also of those who receive a nominal fee but give so much more. As a parent of a student, I love that my son can learn about my culture and, more than that, understand that it is his culture too. For Brazilian children growing up outside of Brazil, who may not travel to Brazil frequently, ABRACE's work helps maintain that connection.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ABRACE is home away from home! My heart fills with so many good feelings when thinking about all that ABRACE makes possible not only to my family but to a lot of families in the DC area. It´s through ABRACE my two boys (and our little baby girl in the near future) meet with friends that they can relate to in all levels, that they can share the love not only for soccer, carnaval, and "festa junina", but also "picolé comprado na banca de revista", "água de côco", favorite beaches in Brazil and so on. It´s also where they can learn and practice their Portuguese and be just like a "native" when going to Brazil and feel and be treated like they have always lived there.

It´s not only for the kids that ABRACE is so important. Parents and the whole community have access to opportunities to socializing, learning, sharing information, building and strengthening friendships, always in a friendly environment, always with the warming and welcoming Brazilian touch.

It´s a lot of work to make all this possible. So we would like to thank all the Founders, Board Members, Directors, Teachers, Parents, Students, Business Partners and Sponsors for working like a big CARING COMMUNITY!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only one work to say to ABRACE: Thanks ! You have been decreased the distance through this beautiful work of perpetuating our fascinating culture beyond the borders of our country ( Brazil) . Congratulations, our children will be proud of you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Manter a identidade do Brasil fora do Brasil, cultura, folclore, língua, enfim, o ORGULHO de sermos Brasileiros. É uma proposta que coloca esta semente em cada criança Brasileira que vive fora do Brasil. Precisamos manter nossos raizes, nosso orgulho para à Pátria amada retornar. Parabéns pela iniciativa!
Claudia

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Abrace some years ago, and since then I'm very close to its founder, a very kind person who really does what she means to do: to get Brazilian culture, language and so on close to children who live outside Brazil and have a Brazilian family.
It's a very beautiful, useful and interesting work.
I'm proud of being Brazilian and count on such a thing like this in Washington DC.

1 Priscila I.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Abrace é um pedaço do Brasil aqui na nossa região metropolitana de Washington DC. É um espaço aberto para filhos, pais e educadores se encontrarem, trocarem experiências, e aprenderem juntos sobre nossa língua, história e costumes. Na Abrace a gente constrói a cultura do Português vivo como língua de herança. Minhas duas filhas adoram a Abrace e se entristecem quando não há aula. Eu sinto muita alegria por vê-las praticando o português não só em aula mas também em brincadeiras com seus amiguinhos. Finalmente, a Abrace também proporciona uma oportunidade de encontro com minha comunidade brasileira.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A ABRACE traz o Brasil mais perto dos nossos filhos. É uma excelente opção para quem quer proporcionar à suas famílias a oportunidade de aprender, apeifeiçoar ou manter a língua portuguesa e vivenciar a cultura brasileira. Muitos de nós comentamos depois de adultos: "Ah, se meu pai tivesse falado comigo somente em italiano, hoje eu seria fluente em tres idiomas"... "Se minha mae tivesse falado comigo em chines desde pequeno, hoje eu teria melhores oportunidades profissionais...". Vejo a ABRACE como um investimento no futuro dos meus filhos. É mais um incentivo para eles darem continuidade ao esforço dos pais em casa e perceberem que falar português é uma realidade não só no próprio lar, mas no lar de todas a crianças com as quais eles convivem semanalmente na “escolinha brasileira”. -Mãe de dois alunos

1 DLuz

Board Member

Rating: 5


Dear Reader,

I'm extremely happy for having had the opportunity to witness and to be part of ABRACE since it's very first steps. Whichever way I try to describe the wonderful transformations that the absolute majority of the kids go through soon after joining ABRACE, I can never make justice to what actually happens there. The sense of belonging and not feeling different than their regular school peers... just because they speak another language. As they interact with the other kids, they quickly realize that it is "kind of cool" to speak Portuguese. But I'm confident that the main reason behind such a great environment for both the kids and their parents, is ABRACE's approach where virtually everything it does is done taking into consideration Brazil's native language heritage, and therefore all the cultural richness that is carried along with it. This heritage based perspective is definitely a key component to ABRACE's mission and uniqueness.

It can't thank enough its teachers, students & parents, staff, volunteers and my fellow board member colleagues for the camaraderie and always so positive attitude. If you have not joined us yet, I sincerely urge you to do so and please do it sooner than later. It may not happen immediately, but YES your child or children you thank you very much having done so.

Thank you,

Dalton Luz