The Government of the Azores, through the Department for the Azorean Communities (DRC), is sponsoring the 11th edition of the “Saudades dos Açores, ” a program for seniors taking place from October 26 to November 2.
This year, 11 seniors from the United States, Canada and Brazil are participating in the program.
The initiative is aimed to providing older Azorean expatriates living in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Brazil the opportunity to travel back to the homeland to visit family and friends.
To qualify, candidates must be age 60 or older, without the financial means to travel, and not have visited the Azores in the last 30 years.
The initiative has local support from the Azorean community organizations in the Portuguese diaspora. In Canada the program was assisted by Abrigo Centre (Toronto), Missão de Santa Cruz (Montreal); Centro de Acção Sócio-Comunitária of Montreal; Working Women Community Centre (Toronto); Centro Cultural Português (Edmonton) and the Casas dos Açores of Ontário, Quebéc and Winnipeg. In the United States the program was supported by SER – Jobs for Progress (Fall River); MAPS; Massachussets Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (Cambridge); POSSO – Portuguese Organization for Social Services and Opportunities (Califórnia); V.A.L.E.R – Valley Area Living Resources (Califórnia); Catholic Social Services (Fall River); IAC – Immigrants Assistance Centre (New Bedford) and Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra. In Brazil, the program was assisted by Casas dos Açores do Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and in Bermuda by Clube Vasco da Gama.