The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States
Serving our Community for 29 Years!
LUSUS Newsletter
New Edition of LUSUS to Highlight Portuguese Culture

Part of PALCUS' mission is to promote the Portuguese culture and those who are helping to keep it alive. We welcome input from anyone on people or groups to feature, as well as additional categories to include. 
Featured Folklore Group Rancho Casa dos Arcos USA

Rancho Casa dos Arcos is a Portuguese folk dancing group from Newark, NJ.

For videos of performances, to learn about events, etc., visit their Facebook page:
Traditions / Customs
Our Lady of Fatima Festa in Ludlow, MA

Annually, a festival is hosted by Our Lady of Fatima Church, in Ludlow, MA, on Labor Day weekend. There, the Virgin Mary is celebrated with performing Portuguese folk dancing groups from various places, a procession on Sunday where the rosary is prayed, Portuguese singers performing, and a carnival. This festival attracts many Portuguese-Americans from all over the Northeast.

Visit the website of Our Lady of Fatima Church Ludlow, MA, where the festival is hosted:
Featured Organization that Brings Fado Outside of Portugal – MDFADO
“MDFADO Productions works with the best Portuguese artists and musicians to produce top quality Fado shows outside Lisbon, Portugal.”

For more information about upcoming shows, etc., follow them on Facebook:
Featured Artist – Jose L. Santos

“José Santos received his Bachelors of Fine Arts and Masters of Science in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. He has worked for a number of years as an art educator in the Somerville, MA public schools and is also a professional artist. He currently resides at the Artist Building at 300 Summer Street in Boston, MA where he lives and works in a vibrant artist community. In 2007, Mr. Santos was the recipient of a $5,000 art renewal grant for teachers which allowed him to travel and work in Portugal over the summer.”

For more information, visit his website:
Featured Chef – George Mendes

“A first-generation American born to Portuguese parents, George Mendes has fond memories of the elaborate, festive meals his family would prepare while he was growing up in Danbury, Connecticut. From a young age, he knew he wanted a creative career, and food was his first love. Soon after finishing high school, Mendes enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.”

He currently works at Aldea, a restaurant located in New York, NY.

For more information on him, his work, etc., visit the website:
Featured Architect – Isida K.
Isida K states that she has, “15+ years in architectural design and visualization, assisting professional firms / offices, and builders to successfully deliver highly technical building projects (residential, commercial, hospitality, education).”

She has experience working in the United States as well.

Visit the website: to find more information regarding her portfolio, etc.
Featured Designer – João Louro

João Louro is a Portuguese-American designer who decorates for special events.

He has his own Pinterest account with multiple ideas:

He also has a Facebook page where you can find pictures of his work, etc.:
Featured Fashion CEO – Victor Luis

“Luis is the former chief executive of Tapestry Inc., who exited in September 2019 having breathed new life into the long struggling Coach business, now Tapestry Inc., focusing on the repositioning of the American giant as a modern luxury brand and supporting Stuart Vevers in establishing the brand’s new creative identity. He oversaw a gradual turnaround of the business amidst a landscape of global turbulence and slowing growth, in a testament to the strength of his management skills.”

Featured Author – George Leite

“George Leite was an American author, poet, publisher, bookstore, gallery, and native plants nursery owner active in California's San Francisco Bay Area starting in the 1940s. Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1920, he was raised in the then Portuguese-American enclave of San Leandro, California and died in 1985 in Walnut Creek, California.

Leite was the founder of daliel's Bookstore (stylized with a lowercase 'd') at 2466 Telegraph Avenue between Dwight and Haste Streets in Berkeley, where he published Circle Magazine and published books, pamphlets, and audio recordings under the Circle Editions imprint.”

For more information regarding George Leite, visit:
Featured Winemaker – Vitor Guimarãis

“The Winemaker Vitor Guimarãis Hailing from Almeirim, Portugal, one of the largest wine producing regions in country, Vitor was born with winemaking was in his blood. As a fourth generation winemaker Vitor got his start early in life as his childhood (youth) was spent in his father’s vineyards and winery, apprenticing in the family craft and gleaning the secrets of the trade which had been passed from generation to generation.
Naturally he went on to study the art of winemaking and graduated with his Masters’ Degree in Viticulture and Enology from Lisbon’s Superior Institute of Agronomy; one of Europe’s best universities in this field of study. Vitor has been with us since 2011, as Morais Vineyards and Wineries first winemaker. He has introduced Portuguese wines such as Battlefield Green, Jeropiga, Cherry Wine and Moscatel to our unique collection of savory wines. The awards that our wines receive every year from the numerous competitions they are entered in, are a true testament to the quality of wine Vitor has brought to our region.”

Vitor Guimarãis is employed by Morais Vineyards and Winery. More information on him as well as the winery can be found on:

A video about Morais Vineyard and Winery includes an interview, in Portuguese, of Vitor:
Featured Scientist – Antonio Damasio

“Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying, emotions, feelings, decision-making and consciousness. He is the author of numerous scientific articles (his Web of Knowledge H Index is 83; over 32,000 citations) and his research has received continuous Federal funding for 30 years. He is the recipient of many awards (including the Grawemeyer Award, 2014; the Honda Prize, 2010; the Asturias Prize in Science and Technology, 2005; and the Signoret Prize, 2004, which he shared with his wife Hanna Damasio).”

For more information, visit:
Featured Actor – Alexandre Cerdeira

Alexandre is a Portuguese-American teenager who has had multiple professional acting jobs and plays. He attended Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese school in Hartford, CT participating in its annual plays as well.

For more information regarding Alexandre Cerdeira, including his training, visit:
Featured Violinist – Elmar Oliveira
“Elmar Oliveira is an American violinist whose remarkable combination of impeccable artistry and old-world elegance sets him apart as one of our most celebrated living artists. Oliveira remains the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow's prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition. He was the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize and won First Prize at the Naumburg International Competition.

Son of Portuguese immigrants, Oliveira was nine when he began studying the violin with his brother, John Oliveira and then attended the Hartt College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He holds honorary doctorates from both the Manhattan School of Music and Binghamton University. In 1997, the Prime Minister of Portugal awarded Elmar the country's highest civilian accolade, The Order of Santiago.”

For more information on Elmar Oliveira as well as the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, visit:
If you would like to feature your artwork or written works in this newsletter, please send your bio, images and other information to

Are you a PALCUS member yet?  
We are stronger together!
Join now! Until August 31st, 5% of all new memberships will go to meals for the elderly.

If you agree with the work undertaken by PALCUS to build the social, cultural and political capital of our community, then please join us and become a member today!

Strong membership participation means a stronger voice in the national Portuguese-American agenda. In order to advance Portuguese language education, increase presence in the congressional caucuses, and provide economic opportunities, the collective voice of thousands is needed!  

In addition, PALCUS is a member-driven non-profit organization that depends on membership dues and fundraising events to fund its operations. Members of the all-volunteer board of directors donate their time and personal funds for travel, lodging and tickets to attend networking events and planning sessions so our administrative costs are relatively low but nonetheless critical to doing business on a daily basis.

There are membership categories to suit every budget and level of interest. Please click on our membership webpage and join our voice today!

 Questions? Contact Graci for more information! 

Did you enjoy this newsletter? Do you know about all the programs PALCUS offers our community? Please visit our website and become a member today! 
We can't do what we do without your support!
Newsletter Archive

Read past issues of the LUSUS Newsletter at
Jobs for Portuguese Speakers

If you want to put your Portuguese language skills to use in your next job, there are many opportunities out there! Visit the Jobs for Portuguese Speakers Facebook page to see some job openings.
PALCUS Mission

In order to create a singular voice to advocate for the Portuguese-American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991 as a non-partisan, non-profit, organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. 
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the Portuguese-American Community.
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese-American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advances the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.

PALCUS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under the IRS tax code and incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia. Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.
PALCUS has earned the 2019 Gold GuideStarUSA Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency. Visit our profile HERE
Contact Information

Phone: 202-466-4664

9255 Center St., Suite 404
Manassas, VA 20110