Southcoast Celebrates Day of Portugal

Southcoast Health Celebrates Day of Portugal and highlights Portuguese Staff: Suzete Pacheco

Suzete Pacheco is the Lead Housekeeper at Southcoast Health and has been part of the organization for 14 years.

In Recognition of the Day of Portugal on June 10th, Suzete is proud to celebrate and share her Portuguese culture. Originally from the Azores, she traveled alone to the United States when she was 13 years old to live with her older sister.

From Portugal to the United States

“When my father passed away at 50 years old, I came to the United States leaving my mother, two sisters and a brother behind,” says Suzete. “I didn’t know what to expect when coming here, but I felt it would give me a better future. Now, I have my husband of 27 years and three wonderful children. My decision to come here was the best decision I could have ever made.”

Although Suzete moved at a young age, she is still very connected to her Portuguese roots. “One of my favorite memories is the old stories my father would tell us about the Portuguese way of living from his times. I now value telling those stories to my own children,” she says. Suzete and her husband raised their children with Portuguese traditions that they hope their children will continue someday.

Throughout the past year and a half, COVID-19 created many challenges for both the Portuguese community in our region and the across the world. The spread of the virus restricted travel and put many Portuguese traditions on pause.

Resuming Portuguese Traditions

“Some traditions such as the yearly Holy Ghost feasts and what Portuguese people call Domingas, where groups go pray at people’s homes, were canceled,” says Suzete. The Day of Portugal Feasts in the South Coast region have been canceled both this year and last as well, but many people are looking forward to a big celebration next year!

“My hope, I’m sure just like many others, is that COVID will end. Hopefully, we can get can back to some kind of normalcy and continue carrying out the Portuguese traditions we love so much” she says.

Southcoast Health is proud to celebrate the Day of Portugal, as well as the great work and valuable contributions of our Portuguese colleagues – learn more.