California is home to the largest population of Portuguese Americans across the nation. Since the inception of Portuguese Immigrant Week (2nd week in March) in 1967 by then Governor of California Ronald Reagan, the Portuguese American community has proudly attended a wreath ceremony annually to recognize and celebrate all the courageous Portuguese immigrants at Root Park in San Leandro. This year the 56th Annual Portuguese Immigrant Week was held on March 4th, the start of a week long celebration by various organizations. Despite the rain, there was a great turnout followed by a wonderful lunch celebration at the Portuguese Band of San Leandro
Hall. Thank you to the Portuguese Fraternal Society of Portugal (PFSA), Luso-American Financial and the Consulate General of Portugal for hosting this event.
The symbolic statue at Root Park created by Azorean sculptor Numidico Bessone was offered to the City of San Leandro in 1964 by União Portuguesa do Estado da California, now part of PFSA. This statue 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 to our Portuguese Immigrants!