Each year, the event recognizes individuals of Portuguese heritage who contribute to their communities and to the advancement of the Portuguese here and across the country.
For the 34th annual Heritage Day of Portugal, the Portuguese-American Legislative Caucus welcomed President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Republic of Portugal, as the guest of honor.
De Sousa applauded the achievements of Portuguese-Americans in Massachusetts and embraced award recipients.
Maria Tomasia of New Bedford told 22News, “We’ve adapted to this country, we have contributed, we have succeeded, we have overcome all the problems and difficulties we face as immigrants.”
22News spoke with Alcino Peieira, the vice president of the Lusitano Club in Ludlow, to find out what it means for the Portuguese community.
“I would love to go up there and see him and shake his hand,” Peieira said, “because he is doing a great, great job for Portugal.”
State Representative Antonio Cabral told 22News, “The President’s visit highlights the strong ties that exist between Portugal and Massachusetts and we are proud to celebrate our shared culture and the accomplishments of those who represent the Portuguese-American community.”
“Long live this partnership, this friendship,” said De Sousa.
This is the first time this president of Portugal has made the visit to the State House in Boston.
The delegation said Portugal and Massachusetts enjoy a strong relationship in terms of economic ties, cultural heritage, education and tourism.
About 750,000 Portuguese-Americans live in Massachusetts.
14 Portuguese-Americans were also recognized Monday with the “Portuguese Heritage Award.”