On December 8th 2014, the U.S. Mission in Rio de Janeiro inaugurated the first American Corner (Esquina Americana, in Portuguese) in Santa Cruz neighborhood, located west of downtown Rio de Janeiro. The Ernest Heminway American Corner is inside the Joaquim Nabuco Municipal School Library, at the Princess Isabel Palace, an important historical vacation home for the Portuguese royalty during the Brazilian imperial era.
Consul General John Creamerpresided over the inauguration ceremony with Municipal Deputy-Secretary of Education Jurema Holperin, members of her staff, Acting Public Affairs Officer David Fogelson, the Regional Education Advisory Coordinator Rita Moriconi and two Youth Ambassadors: Valmir Dias, who participated in the Youth Ambassadors program in 2013 andBrener Costa, selected for the 2015 cohort.
In his opening speech, Consul General John Creamer stated the importance of the Santa Cruz American Corner, with the purpose of increasing the U.S. Mission reach to a wider audience and all sectors of the Rio community. Rita Moriconi spoke about the benefits of EducationUSA, the “100,000 Strong” initiative and the launch of the Opportunity Program in Brazil. Municipal Deputy Secretary Jurema Holperin stated the opening of the space is an exciting initiative for the municipality in helping to bring students together from neighboring communities. The two Youth Ambassadors, residents of the area, also talked about their exchange program, as well as their enthusiasm for such innovative opportunity to interact with American culture in the region.
After the official inauguration of the space, community members, teachers and students were invited to attend the opening of “Juntos Nessa Festa – Sport for All” poster exhibit, to honor the 238th anniversary of the U.S. Independence Day. A musical show performed by Professor Alexandre Rodrigues showed off the best of Brazilian music and kick-started cultural programming for the space. To close the event, “Eat, Pray, Love”, by U.S. director Ryan Murphy was shown to the public.
The Ernest Hemingway American Corner will be a space for people to find out more about U.S. culture, the English language and study opportunities in the United States. The partnership between the Consulate, the City Department of Education and EducationUSA will provide a diverse literary collection, DVDs and other items donated by the U.S. Mission in Brazil.