A group representing Portuguese-speaking people in the Grantham area is holding its first meeting this weekend.
ACL, a community association, will hold a sports morning on Sunday at New Beacon Road Youth Centre from 10am to include football and traditional races like the sack race and egg and spoon.
From 2.30pm the association is holding a launch party in Harlaxton Village Hall. There will be a bar selling Portuguese beers and drinks and bifana (pork sandwiches) will be served. From 4pm there will be traditional music and later Caldo Verde (green cabbage soup) will be served.
Entry is free but you pay for food and drink. Go to http://aclgrantham-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/ to register your interest in attending.
President of ACL, Cristina Resende, said the association is aimed at promoting recreation, gastronomy and culture among Portuguese-speaking people as well as helping to integrate Portuguese speakers into the English community. At the moment ACL has about 100 members, but is looking to expand. Cristina is not sure how many Portuguese speakers live in Grantham and the surrounding towns and villages, but believes there could be anything up to 800.
Cristina said: “When you do not know anybody in the country, it is difficult to take that first step when you do not know where you are going to go or who you can talk to. It is bad enough if you do not speak the language.”
She said that ignorance is a big barrier to bringing nationalities together, “Local communities sometimes don’t make the effort to integrate. Ignorance is the worst of all evil but then migrants can also have the wrong idea about local people. It’s a two-way thing. We are trying to get these barriers down.”
Cristina came to Grantham in 2004 after a short spell working in a factory in Boston. She now works for the Youth Offending Service and is also a part-time interpreter for the courts.
The ACL has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AssoPortGr?ref=tn_tnmn and a website at aclgrantham.org/index.html