When a host family welcomes an au pair, they are bringing new cultural awareness and experiences not only to themselves, but also to their community, as au pairs tend to enjoy getting involved in local events and sharing their customs from home. Brazilian au pair Luiza, who lives with her host family in Maryland, recently introduced students and parents alike to her culture at an elementary school’s Multicultural Night. Peter, her young charge who attends the school, requested her to speak about her home town, Recife, and she eagerly complied!
“Peter helped me with everything – we cooked together (we made brigadeiro, a sweet Brazilian treat, and pão de queijo – cheese rolls). I also bought some paçocas, which are peanut butter candy, at a bakery in Silver Spring, MD.
On my computer there was a video of Pernambuco with subtitles in English talking about the beauty of our state and the most famous spots to visit. I made a sign with some information about Brazil and some Portuguese words. Peter helped me to color and to pick out the words. He was so excited, and his teacher told me that was all he talked about. When the day came, he was all over the place saying: ‘My Au Pair is coming and she’s going to talk about Brazil – that’s where she’s from, but don’t worry, she speaks English!’
There were a lot of kids from our neighborhood there, and he was inviting everyone: ‘Did you go to our table? My au pair is there talking about Brazil – and we brought Brazilian food!’ It was a lot of fun, and I was extremely happy to be part of this!”
With some great teamwork and a lot of laughs and excitement, Luiza and Peter brought a little piece of Brazil to their community, and everyone involved gained something valuable from this cultural exchange experience.
Could your own family and community benefit from excellent child care and a unique cultural exchange opportunity? Learn more about Au Pair in America!