Language/culture classes for Venezuelan migrants in São Paulo

Language/cultural competency skills are critical for Venezuelan migrants seeking social and labor inclusion in Brazil.

Magis Americas, Inc.


Our story

In light of the current crisis facing Venezuela, Brazil has become one of the main destinations for individuals seeking a dignified life outside of their country of origin. That search for a dignified life, though, is not without its challenges.

First, close to 19% of the 45,000 Venezuelans found in the border state of Roraima, the main port of entry for Venezuelan migrants, are either in state-run hospitality homes managed by UNHCR or live on the streets. 

As a result, government agencies and non-government organizations have begun an internalization strategy, where migrants are transferred to free hospitality homes in other states (such as Fé e Alegria’s Casa Dom Luciano in São Paulo) where they receive social support, food, housing and legal support. 

Second, while the 224,000 Venezuelans who currently live in Brazil are granted immediate right to work, Brazil suffers from overall high unemployment rates among its native born population. 

Finally, Venezuelan migrants must be proficient in Portuguese and have a basic understanding of Brazilian culture to overcome these obstacles. Why? Because language and cultural competency skills are critical for engagement with a host society and lacking those skills can be an insurmountable barrier for accessing opportunities in education, work, and other areas of social life.

What is the goal we hope to achieve?

The language and cultural classes provided through this project form part of a larger, more holistic program. As part of their stay at the Casa Dom Luciano, participants have access to the following services:

  • Food, housing and clothing

  • Legal and legal guidance

  • Psychological attention

  • Job opportunities

  • Access to healthcare 

  • Education and cultural courses

As such, the primary objective of this program is to promote the social and labor inclusion of at least 100 Venezuelan migrants in 2020. How will we know if we have succeeded? 

  1. At least 75% of participants will have secured employment.

  2. A minimum of 70% of participants will have secured independent housing outside of the hospitality house following their three-month stay (25-30 Venezuelan migrants stay for three month periods at Casa Dom Luciano). 

What role do contributors play in making your project possible?

Together with your help, we will provide Portuguese language and Brazilian cultural classes to over 100 Venezuelan migrants in 2020. Specifically, donations made to this project will be used to purchase materials (books, computers, furniture) necessary to implement the course curriculum. 

Who are we as an organization?

Magis Americas is a Jesuit development NGO based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to foster, support and accompany partners in the Global South, such as Fe y Alegría and Jesuit Migrant Network, as they strive toward the construction of just, dignified and equitable societies, especially in the areas of education, migration and ecology. 

How else can you help us achieve our work?

Unable to make a donation? There are still many ways you can support our work! The most effective way is to spread the word to your friends and family via social media. Consider using the text below in a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram:

Language skills are critical to accessing opportunities in education, work and other areas of social life. Join @magisamericas this December and support its work with Venezuelan migrants in Brazil. For more information, visit #VenezolanosAdelante



Andrea Lemesh


Allison Radomski


Michael & Shirley Radomski





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