State secretary visiting Slovenians in South America
Sao Paulo, 29 October - State Secretary at the Government Office for Slovenes Abroad Vesna Humar is visiting Slovenians living in Brazil and Argentina. On Saturday, she met the Slovenian community in Sao Paolo, where she opened the community's first centre, and discussed business cooperation with the Slovenian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
The opening of the Triglav Slovenian Hall is a milestone for the Slovenian community in Brazil, because the Association of Slovenians in Brazil did not have its own premises until now, the Office for Slovenians Abroad said in Saturday's press release.
Humar opened it together with Martin Črnugelj, who served as the association's president for years, and with his successor Boris Krajnc Alves.
The community thanked the state secretary for the financial contribution the Office for Slovenians Abroad provided for the new hall.
The opening event attracted almost 120 Slovenians from around Brazil, who meet in-person once a year for St Martin's Day festivities, while often meeting online.
The association pays a lot of attention to the preservation of archival material about the community and its members, while it marks annually Slovenian Statehood Day and organises St Nicholas festivities for children.
Business cooperation and related challenges were in the focus of Humar's meeting with members of the Slovenian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, which was founded in 2016.
Its president Matjaž Cokan outlined a project of interactive map and virtual catalogue of Slovenian products and services in Brazil, which they would like to expand to the US, Canada and Argentina.
Humar hailed a memorandum of understanding signed by the Slovenian chambers in Brazil and Argentina as a good example of connecting Slovenians around the world.
There is an estimated 5,000 Slovenians in Brazil. While they are dispersed around the country, the majority live in the federal state of Sao Paulo, while there are large communities in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
On Friday, State Secretary Humar met Slovenian Honorary Consul in Sao Paulo Octavio Tavares de Oliva Filho and ex-Honorary Consul Štefan Bogdan Barenboim Šalej and his spouse Débora Barenboim-Šalej, Brazil's former ambassador to Slovenia.
Humar was accompanied by Slovenian Ambassador to Brazil Mateja Kračun, while she is continuing her South American visit in Argentina on Sunday.