Getting to know Portuguese people in central Portugal part 2 of 2

Now I did say that this second part of the blog “Getting to know Portuguese people in central Portugal “ was radical so stay with me.


How to become  integrated into the local Portuguese community

Many people come here with the intent of mixing and making friends with local people and find it more difficult or requiring more effort than they realized so they slowly give up and start relying on the more  incestuous but easier local expat network of foreigners.

Whats the easiest way to meet Portuguese friends ?

Whats the easiest way to become integrated into local life ?

Whats the easiest way to prevent retirement boredom ?

You guessed it the answers the same to all these questions.

Have you thought of volunteering at your local council.

I took the web page from the SERTA Camra website just as an example. Your own local Camra will be no doubt be running the same sort of thing. Just go in to the town hall and ask………………………………………

Whats the easiest way to learn Portuguese     you could join Serta Volunteers Bank “By the Protocol signed between the City of Serta and the National Commission for the Promotion of Volunteering on April 17, 2009, the Bank was created Local Volunteer Serta – “The Seed of Reason” – an appeal to the exercise of civic solidarity through participation, cooperation, complementarity, gratuity, responsibility and convergence towards citizens, institutions, public services and local businesses. The Local Bank Volunteer of Serta’s mission is to promote and publicize volunteering in Serta county, facilitating the match between supply and demand of volunteers and institutions that promote volunteering.

The Local Bank Volunteer of Serta’s main objectives are: – Strengthen the identity of volunteer work; – Foster the emergence of local initiatives targeted for volunteer work – Develop and implement Volunteer Programs, in partnership with organizations promoting – Forward and monitor the inclusion of volunteers in promoting institutions – Develop activities for collecting and distributing goods to people with socio-economic difficulties

The Local Bank Volunteer of Serta is based on the premises of Bank Resources Serta, Old School in St. Anthony.

For any additional information or clarification, contact the Department of Social Action of the City Council of Serta, by phone 274 600 300 or e-mail address

And remember – In  rural Portugal the best way to break down barriers is firstly to slow down your life a little when interacting with the people  (I think of it as changing down a gear).

Slow down when you meet people
Change your pace to the pace of local life

Practice a few phrases in Portuguese that will make sense to a local persons personal perspective. 

It matters not if you don’t fully understand the answer you have just demonstrated to the person that you spoke too that you are not the high flying, aloof millionaire that they all thought you were.

I know of examples were people have joined the local fire brigade volunteers. Thoroughly enjoying the training and learning a lot including Portuguese and easily making new friends.

Jump in the reception will be warm.