Since 1969, the Portuguese community has been gathering at Root Park in San Leandro to recognize their Portuguese ancestors celebrating Portuguese Immigrant week proclaimed by then Governor of California Ronald Reagan as the second week of March each year.
The Portuguese Fraternal Society of America (PFSA) and Luso-American Education Financial sponsored on March 7, 2020 once again this annual immigrant statue wreath ceremony to kick off Portuguese Immigrant week with the Filarmónica Artista Amadora de San Leandro playing the two national anthems. Despite the rain, the ceremony was well attended with a reception at the Marina Inn Hotel which followed. This symbolic statue was created by Azorean sculptor Numidico Bessone and offered to the City of San Leandro in 1964 by União Portuguesa do Estado da California, now part of PFSA. It symbolizes a person carrying a heavy burden – the difficulties and struggles of the emigrant; yet it also shows a man in front of a ship’s prow symbolizing the strength, courage and sense of adventure of the Portuguese emigrant. Viva Portugal!