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Monthly Newsletter - February 2017


Abacaxi Bowl



Youth Sports Registration



New Member Coffee

Mar 15

St. Patrick's Day Party

Mar 17

Let's Connect

Mar 27

Annual Charity Gala

May 12

Sambódromo in Your Living Room

SMILE-ing in December

By Jason Bermingham, AmSoc Member

By Megan Trierweiler, CAC Chairperson


lthough Carnaval is a nationwide festival here in Brazil, stretching from the shores of the Amazon River to the villages of the country’s deep south, no place conveys the spirit of revelry as well as Rio de Janeiro’s Sambodrómo. This enormous, concrete runway is the epicenter of Brazil’s Carnaval quake. Globo TV, the country’s largest media group, broadcasts the Sunday and Monday evening parades nationwide, and no matter where you find yourself at the end of this month, expect all eyes to be on Rio. The Sambódromo, however, is a tough party to crash. Tickets are sold-out well in advance, and most tourists are obliged to buy from tour operators or, worse, scalpers. Fortunately, the essence of Carnaval is spirit, not geography – so if you can’t get to Rio, why not bring Rio to you? This article offers a step-

by-step guide that will help transform your living room into a do-it-yourself Sambódromo. To get started, create a Facebook event (or send out an e-mail invite if you’re old-school) that offers your guests a bit of history – tracing the evolution of Carnaval back to the Middle Ages. Carna Vale, remember, is Latin for “farewell to meat,” one last blowout before the forty days of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. Mention also that Rio de Janeiro’s Sambódromo was completed in 1984. The structure, comprising a nearly half-mile long cement strip lined on both sides by massive grandstands, resembles the public works of Brazil’s capital city Brasília. Not coincidentally, both were designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Carnaval, however, draws a more colorful continued on page 5


he first SMILE volunteering events were a tasty success! We had eight enthusiastic volunteers travel to two orphanages (Helen Drexel and Lar Tia Edna) to share in the American traditions of cookie decorating and card making. After explaining what to do (a completely new idea for the kids), everyone dove into the fun, making a joyous mess. In the end, we frosted over 300 cookies and made dozens of Christmas cards.

For me, the highlights were watching the kids eat as many cookies as they frosted, seeing one teen squeeze the frosting directly into her mouth, and finally, seeing the pride of a teen boy in the card he made for his sister whom he is no longer able to live with. A special thank you to Kim and Jay for organizing this activity. Thanks also to Judy, Catarina, Tracy, Natalie, and Lineth for your help in making these memories. Want to participate in our next event? Join the SMILE volunteer group today. For details, see page 12. § Cover image: Jasmin Manga Flower, Tatuí Courtesy of: Jackie Wyant

FEB 2017


New Year of Fun & Excitement


by Richard Wegman

irst, I want to acknowledge and thank all of our new members and volunteers throughout 2016 who made a tremendous positive impact on our accomplishments. You bring new ideas and energy to us all. On the other hand, we have members who have been an active part of AmSoc for 66 years, like Marilyn Mangels, and others for decades; coordinating events, offering support and guidance on how we can further care for our members, always ready to help. This is where our new members and experienced members come together to continue our support of the American community, while still finding time to reach out to some less fortunate children in the areas where we live. I want to acknowledge the great work completed in 2016 that touched thousands of children’s lives. Interestingly, some children were our own kids who came to charitable events to help, and then shared that experience on Facebook and at school. This builds community and spreads our actions of humans caring about others.

James Bond will be delivering a fantastic bash for our 2017 Gala fundraising evening on Friday, May 12th. Martinis (“Shaken, not stirred.”) along with lots of other drinks, great food, music, and wonderful people, will provide the setting for our annual charity fundraising event. Unfortunately, Brazilian law does not allow casino-type activities. Therefore, we will each have to think of creative ways to become part of the James Bond-themed Gala. I know you want more detail, but this is ‘Top Secret’ so you’ll just have to wait for more to be revealed. That said, please save the date on your calendar. I’m sure the tickets will sell

quickly again this year, so be ready in March to buy yours. The Board has plans for an outstanding year. We’ve already started in January with golf games which will continue throughout the year, because you asked for more! In addition to our normal traditional events and Youth Sports Program & Little League, you can look forward to a few new events, like the big St. Patrick’s Day party in Campinas this year. (I feel a bus trip/road party!) In addition, we are considering a Labor Day picnic to kick-off the second part of the year. What do you think? Good Idea? Send us a quick note at with your input! These are all great opportunities for your participation as a volunteer to make it all happen. You can make the difference; help us make the year a great one. We are here for you, so let’s all work together producing events that you love! By now, you get the message; AmSoc is only as good as each of our member’s contributions. It takes an immense amount of teamwork and energy for each event to be successful. Join our team; you’ll be grateful for the opportunity to give back to your community! Most of all, have a very happy and safe 2017 in São Paulo!!! Sincerely,

Into the Future, Together

OUR MISSION: The American Society of São Paulo (AmSoc) promotes friendship by organizing social, cultural, and athletic events for its diverse membership; encourages integration with the Brazilian society; and supports the American traditions of education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. Rua da Paz, 1431, Chacara Santo Antonio, 04713-001, São Paulo, SP Tel: (11) 5182-2074 / Fax: (11) 5182-9155 /



Richard Wegman

Vice President

Judy Zanchi


Alan Blau

Campinas Chapter

Cynthia Peeples


John Kennedy

Business Networking

Elias Gedeon Fernanda Gedeon

Community Action Committee Megan Trierweiler

Corporate Sponsorship

Ariane Cartwright Isabel Franco Ricky Rubeiz

Membership Team

Lynda Perdigon Patrick Trierweiler


Kelly Maurice Lucy Nunes


Anju Kapur

The American Society of São Paulo

Welcome! To Our New Members We thank all of our new members for their support. Not a member? Join today! Visit NAME




Frank Lund


Chácara Gramado

Anders Pettersson



Magnum Opus

Antonio Amado


Alphaville Conde II

Port of Virginia - POV

Camilla Rossete Oshikava





Claudinei Monaci Brazilian

Vila Brandina


Jardim Europa

Dsbi LLC

Adriana Lund

Claudia Monaci


Daniela Bitran Hemsi



Edward Resener

Rita de Cassia



Fountain Square Partners

Jay Russell

Sandra Russel


Vila Nova Conceição

Grant Thornton

Fernando Delman Brazilian


Private Dental office

Humberto Stiehm American



Maria Delman


Maria Stiehm Melinda Brenninkmeyer


Alphaville Industrial

Oscar Campana

Cricket Campana


Jardim Paulistano


Patrick Wong

Carolyn Wong


Santo Amaro

U.S. Consulate


Santo Amaro

U.S. Consulate




Sonia Fernandes Steven Page


Katherine Page

Helping Hands Member


Campinas Member

Meet New Member Antonio Amado! Family members: Myself, wife Denise, daughter Stephanie (Medical School) and son Pietro (Studying at Cornell College – Iowa) Where were you born? In São Paulo, Brazil

Favorite place to hang out in São Paulo? There are several nice spots to hang out in São Paulo, but I love the Roof of Cidade Jardim Mall, Skye Bar, Vila Madalena, and Jardins area.

Prior overseas assignments? Certain period of time in Norfolk, Virginia

Recommendations? Pinacoteca Museum, MASP, Roof of Italia Building, Gastronomy.

Locations in Brazil you'd like to visit? Amazon What do you find great about Brazil? Nature and People


Surprising fun fact about yourself? Nice and Creative Cooker and some Wine expertise at this moment and still learning about it.


FEB 2017


U.S. Mission Partners with Prestigious Samba School By Ann R Mangold


arely does a single event capture the culture, spirit and identity of an entire country; but for Brazil, there is one annual celebration that offers the chance for participants and spectators alike to immerse themselves in the music, dance and energy that has made the country world-famous: the iconic Carnaval.

our common love of music, and ‘Music in the Soul – Inspiration of Nations,’ will showcase many of the reasons why.” To provide Unidos da Tijuca with background and the history of U.S. culture and music, members of the U.S. Mission’s Foreign Commercial Service and Public Affairs office organized an advance trip for members of Unidos da Tijuca to visit popular U.S. destinations.

strong ties with Brazilian culture. The group also visited Las Vegas and New York City, visiting cultural and historical sites, such as Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. Founded in 1931, Unidos da Tijuca is Brazil’s third oldest samba school. Its mission is to preserve the roots of Brazil’s traditional folklore and to honor its multi-cultural background as well as to present social struggles of the citizens of the Borel communities of Tijuca.

This year, for the first time ever, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission has partnered with Unidos da Tijuca, one of the most prestigious cultural Samba schools or “escolas de institutions in Rio de Janeiro "A música que ecoa da América do Norte – samba,” are dancing schools for the first-ever American exclusivamente dos Estados Unidos da América and clubs devoted to practicing music-themed Carnaval – sensibilizou a Unidos da Tijuca fazendo-a and exhibiting samba, an Afroparade. Unidos’ 2017 parade, “Music in the Soul: Inspiration perceber que a música americana vem da alma Brazilian dance. The schools have a community basis and of Nations,” will showcase à inspiração de uma nação, que sua poesia toca are usually associated with American musical movements, from blues and jazz to à vida, realiza os sonhos e alcança os sentimentos a particular neighborhood. contemporary rhythms, and de todos," ~ Marcos Roza de Unidos da Tijuca During Carnaval, the samba schools compete in formal its unique links with Brazilian parades, showcasing their culture. talents along with elaborate costumes and “The U.S. Embassy is proud and excited to From Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National floats in the hopes of winning the coveted collaborate with Unidos da Tijuca for their Historic Site to New Orleans French Quarter first-place prize. Carnaval 2017 parade,” said Liliana Ayalde, and San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district, former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil. “In so the Unidos Group experienced the traditions, Carnaval 2017 festivities kick-off in São many ways the U.S. and Brazil are natural cuisine, and music that gives the United Paulo on February 24, while Rio de Janeiro partners, perhaps most powerfully through States its unique history and illustrates its will hold its official activities, including the internationally broadcast Samba parade and competition on February 27-28. Rio’s events attract more than 80,000 visitors per day and tens of millions of TV viewers. For more information, please visit or §

@USCitsBrazil The official U.S. Embassy Twitter account for American citizens in Brazil. The English feed features daily tips and news for the expat community.


The American Society of São Paulo

Sambódromo continued from page 1 crowd than does politics, and the austerity of the Sambódromo only serves to draw more attention to the explosive color and energy of the samba schools themselves.

be decorated with slices of lime. No pinga? No problem. With vodka, the drink is called a caipiroska. With white rum, it becomes a caipiríssima.

Next, settle on a theme. Remember, each of the samba schools in Rio’s Carnaval parade follows its own enredo. This is the unifying motif behind the samba, costumes, and floats. To make your Sambódromo come to life, choose a theme as well, and ask your guests to dress accordingly. Go crazy – feathers, body paint, and glitter. Load up on the confetti. Encourage guests to speak some Portuguese among themselves. And keep the drinks coming! Beer is the drink of choice at the Rio Sambódromo, but for a slightly more tantalizing festa, make some caipirinhas. Simple, sweet, and deceptive, this mixture of lemon, sugar, and cane alcohol is the perfect fuel for a night of samba and a morning of regrets.

Now, the music. Carnaval is a loud affair, and at the core of the commotion is samba. First performed at Rio Carnaval in 1917, samba’s origins go back much further. Old African rhythms, notably the Angolan tam-tam, provided the basis for its music and distinctive dance steps. With the advent of radio and records, samba caught on quickly and has since become a national symbol. It is the music of the masses. The beating heart of Brazil. If you don’t know a few hundred drummers to invite to your party, here’s the next best thing: tune into Spotify (or some similar subscription service) and choose a samba theme. Another good option is to visit the Livraria Cultura website and purchase the CD “Samba de Enredo 2017”.

Here’s a per-glass recipe: 1 lime, 1 shot of cachaça, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a cup with ice cubes. Preparation: Wash the lime, then loosen up the juices by rolling it in your hand. Cut into quarters and place the pieces in a glass. Add sugar and crush lime (pulp side up) with a wooden spoon. Finally, pour the cachaça into the glass, add ice and stir. The drink can

Now for the hardest part: the art of dancing samba. Even after 20 years in Brazil, I still have no idea how it is done. It looks like a person’s attempt to shake fire ants off her legs while keeping her upper body still, to music. More technically, it is a 2/4 dance that incorporates the Latin hip swing with a continuous knee flexing called the “samba bounce”. Brazilian


children learn the samba bounce moments after they stop crawling. For us gringos, or for me at least, it’s a different story. But I’ve been told that samba dancing, like Portuguesespeaking, improves in proportion to the number of caipirinhas consumed. And that’s that! The rest is up to you, and perhaps Rei Momo, the King of Carnaval. You won’t have the sea breeze or four hundred drums pounding out a two-four beat. Fiery mulattas won’t spin in impossible circles on two-story papier-mâché floats. Young men wearing nothing but sequined G-strings won’t flaunt their oiled bodies in Freddy-Mercury style. And sixty thousand men and women won’t roar from the bleachers. But as you and your friends dance in your living room, with the bite of lemon, sugar, and cane alcohol on your tongues, you’ll see the beauty of celebrating Brazil’s biggest festival right here on the Tropic of Capricorn and in the comfort of your own home. § Jason Bermingham, AmSoc Member and voiceover actor, generously lends his talent to our annual charity Gala. For more on his work, visit

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FEB 2017


Shall We Dance? Brazilian Ballroom in Sampa


By Mark Abrams, AmSoc Member

fter 4 months in San Francisco, the exciting São Paulo ballroom dance scene dominated our plans, as my wife Sonya and I headed out for our Sampa year-end vacation. Of course, we were keen to catch up with family and friends, but we sorely missed the dancing. The result? Ten nights of dancing in 15 days. What a vacation!

level. I was hooked in no time. The taxi dancers/ instructors can be hired in advance of the baile and will dance just with you for the evening, at a cost of R$200-250 for 3 hours, plus R$50 per additional hour, or alternatively you pay R$3.75 to dance a song with one of the pros. We have done it both ways and it’s always fun.

a couple. Private classes range from R$100-150 for 60 to 90 minutes (all negotiable). Usually, the dance instructors can be hired as personal dancers to accompany dance clients to the bailes for the same going rate as the pros. Take advantage of dancing with a trained instructor at the baile, who will give you tips as you go.

How did an uncoordinated, gawky New Englander become so passionate for Samba de Gafieira (couple samba), bolero, forro, soltinho, and salsa? Sonya signed me up for classes in the hope that I would share her enjoyment for dancing. “Who me?”, I asked incredulously. Since the Clube de Campo offered free classes, I couldn’t find an acceptable excuse for not trying.


There are many dance schools that offer group classes. Best to choose a school convenient to your home or work. • Studio Bruna Lucena @ Zona Norte w/ Bruna Lucena ( studiobrunalucena or 95192-0396) • Espaco de Danca Andrei Udiloff @ Pinheiros w/ Anna Paula Cruz ( or 3813-6196) • Clube de Campo de SP @ Interlagos w/ Christiane Busato (, members only, Sat. 17:30 - 19:00) • Escola Paulo Aguiar @ Vila Olimpia/Itaim w/ Christiane Busato (98305-3833) • Centro de Danca São Paulo @ Campo Belo w/ Jaime Aroxa ( or 5561-5561)

Our favorite instructors: • Bruna Lucena (95192-0396) Styles: Forro, Zouk, Sertanejo, Bolero, Soltinho, Samba, Bachata, Salsa • Christiane Busato (98305-3833) Styles: Samba, Bolero, Forro, Soltinho, Sertanejo • Jeferson Salles (96316-4012) Styles: Samba, Bolero, Forro, Tango, Soltinho, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, Salsa • Juliana Maggioli (98135-0235) Style: Tango

After finally getting a notion of the basic steps, I agreed to take a 90-minute, once-a-week, group Ballroom dance class near home, at the Andrei Udiloff Dance School in Pinheiros, to complement the Club’s classes. Soon, I added one-on-one private lessons to accelerate the process. Before long, I was ready to join Sonya at a Friday evening baile (Ball or Dance). Given my limited repertoire, I was handed off to a female “taxi-dancer” (private dancer/dance instructor) at the baile while Sonya danced with instructors who were better suited to her


Most dance teachers are willing to give classes at your home, office, or in the school where they teach. It is not necessary to take classes as


Entrance fees of R$35-45 per person. • Espaco 55 @ Rua Cayowaa, 55 Fridays Ballroom Dancing, Thursdays Tango Reservations: Mary Hokazono (99212-3753) • Opera SP Restaurant @ Av. Moaci, 537 Mon. Thurs. & Fridays Ballroom Dancing Reservations: Moacir Castilho (99463-3460) • Zais @ Rua Domingo de Morais, 1630 Sun. Samba, Weds. Ballroom Dancing Reservations: 5539-8082 • Tango B’aires @ R. Amâncio de Carvalho, 23 Reservations: Omar Forte (5575-6646) Check it out! Send any questions you might have to Mark at Great for couples and singles. Take dance classes in advance of the AmSoc Gala in May, and try out your steps there! §

SUBMIT YOUR CONTENT To be featured in our next Members Recommend section, send an email to with your personal recommendations on how to enjoy all that São Paulo (and Brazil!) has to offer.


The American Society of São Paulo

The Highest Honor for an American in São Paulo By Marlene Rubeiz, AmSoc Member


ach year, select members of the American Society meet in a special committee. Their purpose is to choose one member of our community who has gone far and beyond to unselfishly contribute time and effort for the good of the entire São Paulo community. We present this person the Eric Poliak Award for Community Service. Established in 1984 in honor and memory of Eric Poliak, past president and leader of the community who had an untimely death, Judy Zanchi (third from right) receiving the 2016 Eric Poliak award, standing proudly with previous award winners this award is the highest honor given by our organization for an leaders of AmSoc, meet We have started this year’s process of selecting American in São Paulo. to examine these the person who has served our community "There are many around There are many who nominations. This is not above and beyond the call of duty! Send your us whose dedication dedicate themselves an easy task, but one nominations, with a short synopsis explaining to the organization, person usually stands what this person has done to deserve the to the community the charities which we deserves recognition..." out among the rest. This honor, to Marlene Rubiez at support, and the general decision is kept in strict br. (These submissions are kept strictly private.) communit y-in-need secrecy until the Annual around us in Brazil. But there is usually one General Meeting in April, when that person There are many around person that stands out to all of us. is presented with the beautiful bronze statue us whose dedication engraved with their name. Their name is also to the community We start this process by asking the general engraved on the AmSoc plaque displayed in deserves recognition, and the Eric Poliak membership to nominate a person whom our office and at events. Award is given to only they feel has been outstanding in the community. We typically have around six to Once someone has been nominated, if they one nominee. Help us eight nominations. A committee composed were not chosen as the winner, their name will today to honor that special person! § of past winners of the award, as well as other remain on the list for future consideration. The Eric Poliak Award

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FEB 2017


Supporting a New Cause


By Cynthia Peeples, Membership - Campinas Chapter


ow celebrating its 35th year, Grupo Primavera (GP) is an award-winning NGO that serves the community of Jardim São Marcos, one of the largest favelas in Campinas. Nearly 500 children and teenagers cycle through the modest facility every day. GP is a before- and afterschool program that provides structured continuing education, vocational training, and a college preparation program (PACTO*) for dedicated and motivated youths of all ages. Culturally, Grupo is also a staunch advocate for bridging art and education, they offer acclaimed programs in dance, choir, and theatre. Admirably, Grupo’s reach goes beyond its storied concrete doors. The organization also offers vocational training, financial literacy, and mental health services to the São Marcos community. Vocational training and services that empower and enable parents, grandparents, extended family, and neighbors to support themselves and their community.


Established in 1981 by Jade Sieh, a ChineseAmerican Sociologist, Grupo Primavera was

originally designed to help women in Campinas escape prostitution. Upon learning that most of the women were from Jardim São Marcos, Sieh quickly discovered that the young girls of São Marcos were being groomed for the streets from a shockingly young age. She immediately shifted her focus from women to girls and opened the doors of the facility. She began offering continuing education and vocational programs to school age girls as an alternative to the streets. The program eventually grew to serve 141 girls, with government funding suspended until Grupo agreed to accept boys into the program. Grupo Primavera agreed, and now the program serves nearly 500 boys and girls in the Jardim São Marcos community.§ *PACTO (Preparing Teens for the Technical College) Program is an 18-month intensive program designed to prepare teenagers (13-16 years old) for the technical entry exam for COTUCA and ETECAP trade schools. To date, Grupo Primavera students boast an 89.7% passing rate. This program is essential for transitioning youths out of poverty into a secure, productive environment.

Membership & Resources

Cynthia Peeples

Community Action


Ariene Fonseca

Marketing & Communications Jennifer Licko

ADVERTISE WITH US! Is your business located in the Campinas area? Your ad could be featured in this space! AmSoc has many advertising packages available, including exposure on our website & private Facebook Group. Special rates offered for our Annual Directory advertisers. Call the AmSoc office at (11) 5182-2074 between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, Monday through Friday, or send an email to, for full details and rates.

Membership Drive Calendar Friday, 17 March Doors open at 9pm

St. Patrick's Day Party Iff Bar, Vitoria Hotel

Céili & shenanigans! Iconic Irish celebration with LIVE music, Irish dancers, and Irish cuisine

Sunday, 26 March 1pm to 6pm

Family Sports Day - Are You Game? Escola Americana de Campinas

A day of sports for the entire family: football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball, Story Travelers & crafts for the kids, LIVE entertainment, burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream

Saturday, 1 April 10am to 2pm

Groupo Primavera Paint Project Grupo Primavera Facility

Hands-on Community Service project benefitting Grupo Primavera


Let's Connect Campinas Location provided upon RSVP

SPEAKER: Minister of State Dyogo Henrique Oliveira, Brazilian Department of Planning, Development, and Management TOPIC: State of the Brazilian Economy

Sunday, 9 April 1pm to 5pm

Easter Celebration Belmonte Eco Park

Family Easter Celebration including an Egg Hunt, arts & crafts, activities, and a petting zoo


The American Society of São Paulo

First Annual AmSoc-Campinas St. Patrick’s Day Party! By Cynthia Peeples, Membership - Campinas Chapter


rish eyes will be smiling as revelers don their truest green and regale in the Craic with LIVE Irish music, dancing, tasty Irish fare… and shenanigans! Headlining the celebration is Jennifer Licko, international award-winning recording artist and Celtic Album of the Year. Join us for the launch of AmSoc-Campinas on the 17th of March at the IFF Bar for the First Annual AmSoc-Campinas St. Patrick’s Day Party. Don’t miss it!


St. Patrick is the beloved patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Interestingly, he is not Irish. St. Patrick was born into a wealthy family in Roman Britain back in the 4th Century. As a teenager, he was kidnapped by a gang of Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave for 6 years. He managed to escape, only to return 15 years later as a Christian missionary, forever embedding himself into the hearts and souls of Ireland. St. Patrick spent 20 years establishing churches, monasteries, diocese, clergy, and schools in Ireland. His approach was unique in that he incorporated nature-based pagan rituals and traditions into his work. He created the Celtic cross with an image of the sun, a powerful Irish symbol; encouraged bonfires to celebrate Easter, since Irish traditionally honored their gods with fire; and used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. His death on March 17, 461 A.D., is nationally regarded as the Baptism of Ireland, and internationally revered as St. Patrick’s Day.


While St. Patrick’s Day was originally an Irish Catholic holy day, it has evolved into an international secular holiday celebrating Irish culture, tradition, and pride. Famously, the parades take center stage. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City on March 17, 1762, complete with Irish

soldiers who served in the English military. Other U.S. cities quickly followed suit, and now America hosts more than 100 parades every year. The NYC parade is the second largest in the world, after Dublin, Ireland.


The United States is home to 34.7 million residents with Irish ancestry, more than 7 times the population of Ireland. This population surge started in the 1840’s during Ireland’s Great Potato Famine, which fatally claimed a quarter of the country. Nearly 1 million Irish Catholics poured into America to escape death and starvation. Most, foreign-speaking, poor and uneducated, were harshly discriminated against, unable to work and eat. These immigrants quickly amassed in tight communities and found power in numbers. Their growing force eventually secured stable employment and famously influenced political elections; enter the “Green Machine”. Symbolically, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations represent cultural unity and the fight against discrimination and racial prejudice.


Traditional Irish music is a full body experience: upbeat tempos compel you to sing, dance a jig, clap your hands and join in the Craic

(fun). Since the oldest musical instrument is the human voice, most early Irish songs were sung A Capella. This rings true today when a room grows silent, a glass is lifted, and a singer soulfully pines through a verse of the Irish Rover. Historically, most Irish songs were passed along through oral tradition, making the origins difficult to determine. But this is minor as the music is more about enjoying the songs, your friends, and your drink! Traditional instruments are commonly pipes, fiddles and bodhrans (Irish drums), though the accordion, flute, and guitar are also popular. Groups like Altan, The Chieftans, and Lunasa perform traditional Irish tunes, the most popular being Danny Boy, An Irish Lullaby, Rocky Road to Dublin, Irish Eyes are Smiling, and Finnegan’s Wake.


The Irish word céili originally meant neighbors gathering in a house to dance, play music, and tell stories. Today, it is an informal evening of dancing. Céilis are usually preceded by a dance lesson where novices learn the initial steps. During the summer months, céilis are held in many Irish towns where visitors are encouraged to join. The céili can be traced back to pre-famine times, when dancing at the cross-roads was a popular rural pastime. §

American Society of São Paulo presents

St. Patrick’s Day Party

Friday, March 17 doors open at 9pm

IFF Bar at the Vitoria Hotel Av. José de Souza Campos, 425 - Campinas **ROAD TRIP! Paulistas are encouraged to coordinate a caravan, bus ride, or taxis into Campinas.**

visit for more info FORUM 9

FEB 2017


New Gala Venue: Treasuring the Past, Supporting the Future By Cynthia Peeples, Membership - Campinas Chapter


he American Society of São Paulo is proud to announce that the 2017 Annual Gala will be held at the famed Jockey Club of São Paulo, the historical icon that helped define São Paulo’s social elite and political landscape.


The Club was originally established in 1875, as the Club de Corridas Paulistano (São Paulo Race Club) by Raphael Aguiar Paes de Barros and Antônio da Silva Prado. Aguiar developed a passion for horses and politics while studying abroad in England. Upon his return to Brazil, his mission was twofold; race horses and advance the abolitionist movement. Quickly, the Club started racing horses at the Mooca racetrack, and served as a platform for Aguiar’s political views about slavery and a Brazilian republic. Decades later, the Club organized the first São Paulo Grand Prix in 1923, a long-standing


internationally renowned equestrian event. Ironically, all races were suspended the following year due to the Club’s political affiliations during the Revolutions of 1924, 1930, and 1932. In 1941, the Hipódromo da Cidade Jardim (Garden City Racetrack) was inaugurated and the Club’s racetrack officially moved to the wealthy Cidade Jardim area along the banks

of the Pinheiros River. Designed by famed Brazilian architect Elisário Bahia, the Club’s Art Deco elements and European architecture clinched the hearts of many Paulistas, including the upper class. Companhia Cidade Jardim donated the 600,000 meters of land as a grand gesture of the city’s growth and development. The move cemented the Jockey Club as a cultural beacon of economic prosperity and a playground for the social elite.


The American Society of São Paulo

e Current restoration efforts by investors and historical societies are reclaiming what time and neglect stole. Travertine sculptures, Carrara marble hallways, lavish crystal chandeliers, and gleaming parquet wooden floors have been given new life to rekindle the Club’s once glamorous social scene. The luxurious event halls and function rooms are now available for special events and private occasions. Today, the Club houses 1,400 purebred English race horses, all primed for heart-pounding excitement. Races run Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting at 3pm, and Monday evenings starting at 6:30pm.

members could bet on their favorite horse, while an AmSoc Board member normally presented the winning trophy or Bed of Roses. Join us as the American Society of São Paulo presents Casino Royale, the 2017 Annual Gala, benefitting two extraordinary charity partners: Projeto Sol and Vivenda. This exclusive blacktie event promises to be an evening of refined elegance and exquisite sophistication befitting the high style of the storied Jockey Club. §

CASINO ROYALE GALA Friday May 12 Jockey Club São Paulo Tickets on sale March 1 at R$425 AmSoc members R$475 non-members

The Club also offers sophisticated dining in its elegantly renovated Villa Jockey Restaurant. The highly acclaimed restaurant caters to a distinguished palate with expertly crafted French-Italian cuisine.


Years ago, AmSoc held an exclusive annual dinner at the Jockey Club, which was capped off with the featured Handicap Race. Every August, members were invited to dine in the famed banquet room overlooking the legendary racecourse. On this evening,

Dental Care Dr. Karen Bygdal Andreasen CROSP 47616

Partner of American Society for 13 years

English, Danish and Portuguese spoken!! General Practice – Adults and Children: Functional Jaw Orthopedics Specialist

Individual income tax preparation and consulting • Tax planning • Estimated taxes • US Federal tax returns • Brazilian tax returns • Tax equalization

R. Vieira de Morais, 420 - cj. 32 - Campo Belo - São Paulo Tel (11)5531-4698 • Emergencies: (11) 9.9811-6172

Marcelo Calvoso Tel 55 11 5572 5411 Cel 55 11 99121 8811


FEB 2017


A Visit to Helen Drexel By Monica Kumar, AmSoc Member


couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting two Helen Drexel orphanage homes with a few other AmSoc members. Having never been to an orphanage, I had no idea what to expect. After arriving at the building, I was quickly greeted by the friendly staff. I walked into what looked like the living room of any family’s home. I saw Judy Zanchi playing with a 7-month-old baby boy, and Megan Trierweiler walking up and down the stairs with an adorable 2-year-old girl. It was immediately clear that these kids were NOT afraid of visitors. As we toured the homes, we were all surprised to see how much the staff did to make the bedrooms comfortable. Even though some teenagers were sharing rooms with kids as young as 8 years old (which neither must enjoy), the staff did as much as they could to make the rooms cheerful and give each child some space to call their own. The staff worked equally hard on the common areas. They were large, clean, and well maintained. As we toured the homes, none of the children were shy in coming up and joining our conversations, or even trying to understand my broken Portuguese. From

SMILE: Charity Volunteering with the American Society S - Share M - Mentor I - Impact L - Love E - Engage

Can't volunteer your time, but still want to help? Give your receipts to charity. Charities can claim the tax benefits of any Nota Fiscal unattached to a CPF. Email for more information. Hand-made Holiday cards, part of a recent SMILE event

babies to teenagers, they were all eager to see the new visitors!

adult role model they have, will help them shape the future they see as possible.

When asked what type of donations would be the most helpful, the staff said anything and everything that is donated is put to good use, but what the kids want most are visitors. In our short visit there, the kids clearly adored having new people to see and spend time with.

After my visit, I was inspired, excited, and eager to do more to help the wonderful staff and loving children. Does this sound like something you would like to do, too? Join the SMILE volunteer group today. §

When seeing these kids, none fit the stereotypical image of an orphan, so it is easy to forget that without parents, these kids don’t get much individual attention from an adult role model. This is especially hard for the older kids. We were told that after the age of 10, the chances of being adopted are next to zero. Any

Judy (left) and Jay (right) volunteering time for SMILE

This is a monthly volunteering opportunity connecting AmSoc members with kids at our sponsored charities through fun and engaging activities. Each month, a group of volunteers participates in a pre-planned event. These events are as simple as going to play games with kids one afternoon, to taking a trip to a movie, to even playing soccer on the weekend. For a small time commitment, you can make a big impact. So join us! Here’s what you can do: 1. Help plan events: AmSoc knows the kids and organizations, but we need dedicated volunteers to help plan the logistics of the actual events. From things like buying nail polish for a salon day, to securing tickets to a soccer game, we need people to help organize. 2. Volunteer at the events: Make note of our upcoming events, and when the reminder comes out, commit to volunteering. Then just show up and participate. It’s as simple as that!

email and come SMILE with us!


The American Society of São Paulo

Let’s Connect: Network & Socialize By Madeleine Blankenstein, Let's Connect Committee Member


t has been a pleasure for the Let's Connect team to organize and attend meetings in 2016, the year we started with this group. We hope you were as pleased as we were with the connections made and information acquired. In 2016, we learned about how the Brazilian economy might get through 2016, what we could expect from employment, the Petrobras scandals and how they changed the business environment, what to expect from the Trump era, and the myths related to the Zika virus. The format of the event is not static. Changes may happen according to the needs of the theme, the speaker, or our audience. In 2017, we expect more interaction with our audience. Each time, a journalist will assist us to interview the speaker, and we will focus on themes that are changing Brazil and São Paulo. Another possibility will be to have the round-table format, or just an expert. It will all depend on the theme, and the moment. Our meetings are informal, and also have the intention to have you meet other Americans, Brazilians, and other foreigners who are here on a temporary basis, or have decided to make Brazil their second home.

If there is a theme you would like to hear about, kindly let us know. We will find a professional to explore it.

Save the following dates in 2017: May 29th, August 14th, September 25th and November 27th.

We are aware of the changes happening in our world with the digitalization and Uberization of our cities and our lives. We’d like to explore this subject on March 27th, in our first meeting of the year. Our speaker will be Rodolfo Ohl, currently at, and formerly Monster Jobs and Survey Monkey in Brazil. We will also deal with entrepreneurship and technology at a later date.

May we remind you that Let’s Connect is open to non-members, a great way to get acquainted with AmSoc activities. Come and join us, and reach out to us if you have any ideas or questions! § Want to see a specific topic explored at our next event? Drop us a line at and tell us about your ideas!

American Society of São Paulo presents

Let’s Connect!

Add value. Connect with people.

monday, 27 march, 2017 18:30 to 21:30 R$60 door charge covers food & beverages

Reserve your seat at Av. Horácio Lafer, 44


FEB 2017


Let the Games Begin! By John Mota, Athletics Coordinator


e hope you are all excited for this 2017 Youth Sports Program (YSP) season. We are ready to start!

Our registration will take place on February 18th at Chapel School (R. Vig. João de Pontes, 537) from 9:00 am until noon. Stop by and register your kids! We plan to have donuts, coffee, and snacks available. In case you cannot make it that day, please email for registration details. YSP 2017 SPORTS SCHEDULE TIME SLOT


9AM to 10:30AM

Soccer, Girls (ages 5-8 & 9-13) Soccer, Boys (ages 5-8 & 9-13)

9:30AM to Basketball (coed ages 8-13) 10:30AM 10:30AM to Flag Football (coed ages 8-13) 11:30AM Volleyball (coed ages 8-13) 10:30AM to Baseball (coed ages 8-13) 12PM Note: If for some reason a particular sport does have more than 6 kids enrolled, the YSP program may not offer that sport.


The good weather delighted us this past season; however, we never know how many rainy Saturdays we will have this upcoming season. Therefore, we would like to inform all parents and families that we do carry sessions even if it is raining. We do not carry sessions in case of severe weather: thunderstorms, hail, lightning, or heavy rain.


This situation has already happened during a rainy weekend, and we would like to disclose to all parents that it is at the discretion of a coach to cancel a class if five (5) kids or less show up for practice on a specific Saturday, regardless of the weather conditions.


A couple of parents have asked about Graded School, and it happens that they are not fully ready yet. We do plan to contact Graded during this 1st semester of 2017 to address the 2nd semester sessions, since we do carry a large number of Graded families who would surely like to have games at their home school.


We thank all of our coaches for their volunteer work, and we would like to count on you coaching the next YSP season. §

If you'd like to volunteer to help coach or assist, contact our Athletics Coordinator, John Mota, at or WhatsApp +55 (11) 99622-2177.









Carnaval Holiday



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Easter Holiday









US Consulate



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US Consulate



US Consulate

American Society of São Paulo presents

Youth Sports Program Registration Day @ Chapel School 9am to 12pm

Saturday, February 18th


The American Society of São Paulo

Wrapping Up 2016 By John Mota, Athletics Coordinator


uring the second semester of 2016, the Youth Sports Program (YSP) offered soccer, basketball, flag football, volleyball, and baseball for the first time ever. It proved to be a success by fulfilling the needs of kids who wanted to play flag football and baseball, but did not want to wait 6 months and play only one season per year. We now carry both sports throughout the year. Most of the former tennis practice registrations became interested in volleyball, and we now carry a good number of kids coming for volleyball practice every single Saturday. Our year-end award and barbecue event held in December 2016 had more than 70 people! The kids and families were able to come to sports practice, followed by the traditional award ceremony. And we wrapped up the day with an excellent barbecue, which was a good time for families to chat and kids to play. §

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FEB 2017

Getting on the Board Compiled by Jackie Wyant, Managing Editor


Social Committee I was born in Toledo, Ohio and moved to Northern Michigan when I was 1 year old. I grew up on Mullett Lake in Cheboygan, MI. I lived with a family in Recife as an exchange student my junior year of high school and fell in love with Brazil. I achieved my goal of getting transferred to São Paulo, Brazil as an international banker

in 1991. Brazil's tropical nature and it's funloving people have provided a very beautiful life to both my husband, John O'Brien, and to our three dual-citizen children: Bridget, 24, Bria, 22, and Michael, 15. My favorite thing about São Paulo is: Nature, cultural opportunities, diversity, and the warmth and generosity of its people. My favorite AmSoc memory is: the annual traditions of the children parties (Easter,

Halloween, and 4th of July)! I will cherish those friends, photos & memories always and forever. One embarassing thing that has happened to me in São Paulo is: Nothing specific comes to mind, guess I have been here too long! §

For a full and up-to-date listing of our dedicated Board Members, visit amsoc.

A Stellar Addition to Our Office Staff Compiled by Jackie Wyant, Managing Editor


amilla Rossete Oshikava has joined AmSoc as our new parttime Intern effective February 2017. She’ll be handling many of the daily email and general office administrative functions. She is currently a student at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), studying International Relations/Affairs. Before working with the American Society, she also did an internship at the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs of Brazil, working in multiple departments, and at Colégio São Luís, as an Educational Assistant. Her topics of interest at University are related to International Economy, such as Fairtrade, Ethical and Alternative Business. In her spare time, Camilla loves cooking vegan recipes and learning more about natural, healthy and sustainable gastronomy/lifestyles. Of her time already spent with our amazing

AmSoc office team, she says: “The American Society, it’s a big family, and I could feel this since my first week here. I’m really glad to be part of this team, and I’m sure that we’ll have a great time working together!” § Niki Romeyn, our former Bookkeeper, has left AmSoc to return to the United States. We thank her for her time and dedication, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We'll miss you, Niki!

VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH The amazing volunteers of the month for February are Sue Sileci & Kristy Miranda! The words ‘thank you’ cannot express the level of appreciation we have for these two outstanding volunteers. Without them the Angel Party would not have been possible this year. Never seeking recognition, and dedicating countless hours during the months of preparing this event, both Sue and Kristy take on every challenge with excitement and a smile. What they do makes a lifelong memory not only for a neglected child, but also for the almost 300 volunteers who come to share in this joyous occasion. Additionally, they are both charity liaisons and volunteer even more time at our sponsored charities.


Thus, we attempt to express in a small way the appreciation of our entire community for the work they continue to do to make the lives of São Paulo's children better. Thank you! To nominate the next Volunteer of the Month, email


The American Society of São Paulo

The Holiday Party That Keeps on Giving By Tiffany Nicole Fontana, AmSoc Member


n December 10th, the long awaited Holiday Party finally arrived. Every year, we look forward to celebrating together all that we have accomplished in the preceding months, as well as enjoying family and cherished friends. AmSoc members, dressed in their holiday best, gathered at the captivating home and garden estate of Isabel Franco for an unforgettable evening of delicious food, wine, and outstanding entertainment with a live band. We kindly thank Santa Especiaria and

The Julieta Zaccaro band for helping to make the event such a resounding success. The evening began with members arriving to an elegant, candlelit setting, and even the faint tropical showers did not damper the festive atmosphere. This year we had requested that upon entry, every attendee donate a new pair of flip-flops for the children of the institutions that AmSoc supports, and how quickly the baskets filled up. It was wonderful to see this outpouring of compassion and generosity from our members!

As the evening progressed, some guests hit the dance floor as the band played upbeat covers of American pop and rock music; alternatively, others indulged their palate with a selection of American delicacies such as roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, and homemade cinnamon rolls. We cannot forget to mention the fabulous eggnog prepared by Isabel Franco, Livia Fontana, and Thamyres Souza, which was the party's equivalent of the "office water cooler”: a place to gather, chat, and refill. As the night progressed, the rain dissipated and the night sky was clear and starry. A special moment was shared when we joined together to sing carols and raised our glasses with shouts of cheers. Good times were had by all, and memories made by many. Best wishes to all for a spectacular 2017, and the warmest of thanks to our gracious Holiday Party host, Isabel Franco. §

For more photos of the evening's festivities, visit our Facebook Group ( or website at AmSoc Members toast the holiday season over the incredibly tasty eggnog

Generous donations from guests of the Holiday Party

Our most generous host, Isabel Franco (right), with AmSoc President Richard Wegman (center) and Board Member Kelly Maurice (left)


FEB 2017



Ballroom dancing is very beneficial & highly recommended! Don't miss out on this enjoyable and life-enhancing activity. Private classes may be taken by an individual or couple, in a dance studio or in the comfort of your own home, for all dance styles. Call for more information. References from AmSoc members available upon request. (11) 95192-0396


My expertise includes mood, anxiety, cultural issues, relationship and family concerns, selfesteem, trauma and personal growth. I have strong skills in assessment/evaluation which allow to identify the best and most effective treatment. I work with individuals, families and children. Contact me at 98963-2871 or


Fernando Knijnik has been offering tutoring services for over 25 years. Physics, math and chemistry are taught for all levels, including IB, SAT, ACT, AP, GMAT and Brazilian vestibular, to name a few. Mr. Knijnik has worked for several years in the international schools of SP. For more info please call 99134-6700 or email fernandoknijnik@

program tailored to your health concerns, fitness goals, and schedule. For adults and children, individuals or groups. Sessions conducted in English, Spanish or Portuguese. For more information please contact Daniela Franco at 99739-6191 or


If you need a professional realtor to find out your place in São Paulo, For Investment, Rent, Sell, Buy – Residential house or Apt, Commercial property, Please feel free to contact, I'll advise you as your personal realtor. Contact to Diana Yoon 11 975151213 Email: Speaking: English, Português, Spanish, French, Korean


(CRP 06/132919) specializing in Systemic Family Therapy, Couples Therapy & Educational Psychology. Psychotherapy w/ individuals & couples & families. Offices in Morumbi next to Shopping Jardim Sul, & Campo Belo near Shopping Ibirapuera, both w/ onsite parking. Some insurance companies accepted. Email or phone 011989185922.

Call the office at (11) 5182-2074 between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, Monday through Friday, or send an email to or sales.campinas@ for full details and rates.

New Member Coffee March 15th

@ 10:30am

Location provided upon RSVP

Come meet other new members & learn how you can get involved with AmSoc! RSVP by noon, March 12th

The AmSoc 2017 Membership Directory & Resource Guide has arrived!

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A huge thanks goes to Élon Brasil, for his generous donation of artwork for the 2017 cover, and to our advertisers for their support, which makes this publication possible.



Interested in purchasing a print ad or classified space? AmSoc has many advertising packages available, including exposure on our website & private Facebook Group. Special rates offered for our Annual Directory advertisers.

American Society of São Paulo’s Welcoming Committee presents


I will come to your home, office or workout facility and create an exercise and fitness


*For 2018 advertising info:

All current members should receive a free copy delivered with their February FORUM. If you did not receive yours, please contact our office at

The American Society of SĂŁo Paulo

AmSoc 2016 Year in Review Were you there? Moments you might have missed from the past year.

Happy Hour

Masquerade Gala

Abacaxi Bowl

Kids Halloween Party

Independence Day Celebration

Kids Easter Egg Hunt



Learn more about upcoming American Society events at


Wednesday 8am to 10:30am

International Newcomers Club monthly meetup

Location: Emporio Santa Maria Address: Av. Cidade Jardim, 790 Information:


Saturday 9am to 12pm

AmSoc Abacaxi Bowl 19th annual flag football tourney

Location: PACA - Pan American Christian Academy Address: R. Cássio de Campos Nogueira, 393 Information:


Saturday 9am to 12pm

AmSoc Youth Sports Program soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, and football

Location: Chapel School Address: R. Vig. João de Pontes, 537 Information: Registration day!


Saturday 8pm to 12am

St. Andrew Society of São Paulo Burns Supper

Location: SPAC - Clube Atlético São Paulo Address: R. Visconde de Ouro Preto, 119 Information:


Saturday 7pm to 4am

International Newcomers Club Carnaval 2017!

Location: Sambódromo do Anhembi Address: Av. Olavo Fontoura, 1209 Information:

CONNECT WITH YOUR AMSOC COMMUNITY! You don't need to wait for your next FORUM to arrive. Keep up with the most recent AmSoc news, events, and updates, PLUS partner events and activities, through our various social media channels. Not an AmSoc member yet? Follow our Facebook Page ( for great local news and events. Already a member? Join in the discussion on our Facebook Group ( Share photos from recent AmSoc events, ask for recommendations on where to find the best brown sugar, or simply find members who share a common interest.


Managing Editor & Layout: Jackie Wyant ( | Printed by EGB ( | FORUM is published monthly (excluding January and July) in print and online ( Views expressed in FORUM do not reflect those of AmSoc members or staff. Ads appearing in FORUM do not constitute an endorsement of products or services. Do you want to purchase a print ad or classified space? FORUM has many packages available. Contact for more information.

February 2017 FORUM