Proud to be Cape Verdean column by Mike Costa
Do you ever dream of living in a place that has everything: beaches, mountains, surfing, great food, beautiful cities, good climate and Cape Verdeans? Am I talking about Cape Verde? Not this time. I’m talking about California, the Golden State.
I grew up in Southeastern, Massachusetts where, from my perspective, every other person was Cape Verdean. Both my parents are Cape Verdean so it goes to reason that they surrounded themselves with family and friends that were like themselves and it’s very natural for a child to emulate his or her parents.
When I moved here way back when to seek fame and fortune, I figured the only thing missing was Cape Verdeans. Man, was I wrong. In November of 1982 a small group of people, mostly from the Northeast United States, held a meeting. Their purpose was to determine how many Caboverdianos lived in the greater Los Angeles area, and to discuss the possibility of establishing their own group. That was the birth of the Cape Verdeans of Southern California (CVSC). It felt good to be around other Cape Verdeans so far away from home, making my transition into a brave new world that much easier. The Cape Verdeans of Southern California is a great organization run by great people. It has grown into a highly effective organization contributing to the advancement of fellow Caboverdianos throughout Southern California and the Diaspora.
CVSC has sponsored many social and cultural events throughout the years and has also been involved with numerous community groups highlighting our unique culture. The organization has provided school supplies to four schools on the Islands of Brava, Boa Vista, São Tiago and Fogo to support students in their education and has responded to special requests for financial aid to assist in obtaining medical supplies for hospitals on the Cape Verde Islands. Throughout the years this non-profit organization has touched many lives, Cape Verdean and non-Cape Verdean. So if you’re headed to California it’s a good bet you’re going to run into some Cape Verdeans.
For more information about CVSC visit www.capeverdeansofsoutherncal.org