Wednesday May 16 2012
Rotary serves Brazilian visitors a slice of Auburn life, business
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Five visitors in Auburn for four days as part of month-long visit
AUBURN CA - Auburn Rotary is playing host to five Brazilian visitors as part of a program one of its local proponents says is playing, in its own small way, a role in world peace and understanding. The five Brazilians ? Denise Nunes, 36, of Sumare, Adilson Covre, of Americana, Claudio Matsuse, 40, of Cabreuva, Daiany Rodrigues, 29, of Santa Barbara d?Oeste, and team leader Rafael Somera of Botucatu City ? have been staying with Auburn Rotary families. They leave Friday for Reno to spend their final weekend in the U.S. after spending a month visiting communities in both Northern California and Nevada. Somera, from a community of 130,000 about 100 miles from Sao Paulo, said that the Brazil they will be returning to may be different from the one many Americans conceptualize. With unemployment down to 4 percent, the nation is on an economic roll, he said. The Brazilian gross domestic product is increasing and the middle class is growing. But Somera, a 30-year-old advertising company owner, cautioned that more growth would still be necessary for his country to rise to U.S. standard-of-living levels. ?For us, middle class is earning $1,500 to $2,000 a year,? Somera said. Somera and Covre, a 31-year-old engineer with one of the largest paper manufacturers in the nation, pointed out that Brazil will have the eyes of the world on it in the next few years ? with soccer?s World Cup taking place in 2014 and the Summer Olympics scheduled for 2016. The Rotary International Convention also comes to Brazil, in 2015. Covre said that he?s been impressed by both the cold and the warm of California. ?Snow is something we haven?t seen before,? Covre said. ?The people are very warm and have received us in a way I was not expecting.? As well as Auburn, the five Brazilian visitors have stayed in a variety of communities, including Carson City, Fallon, the Tahoe area and Quincy. In Auburn, their stops included a seminar on advertising at the Auburn Journal, a closer look at American banking at the Community 1st headquarters, a visit to Sierra College and a tour at Placer County?s administration building in Auburn. Rotarian Bill Radakovitz, a major organizer for the visit with his wife, Nancie, said Rotary embraces international relationships with people all over the world. In recent years, Auburn Rotary has played host to visiting groups from Italy, India, Japan and Angola, as well as Brazil, Radakovitz said. During their stay in Auburn, groups sample the community?s culture as well as business life, he said. ?We do what we can to promote understanding,? Radakovitz said. ?It?s the only way people are going to understand how things are to increase understanding and decrease conflict.?