Fresno State now home to Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State is now home to the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute.

The institute is designed to be a center of interaction for the benefit of students and for the Portuguese-American community.

"We want to collect these stories of immigrants. We still have a lot of folks who have emigrated from Portugal in the last 50 years but also first, second and third generation," said Diniz Borges, Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute.

Borges is the director and serves as a lecturer for the Portuguese language at Fresno State.

He says the institute will be showcased through existing buildings on the Northeast Fresno campus.

Last fall a Portugal foundation gave the university a $130,000 grant to launch the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute at Fresno State.

"It will be important to register that history. That history has been going on for many decades. But there hasn't been a place where it all comes together as a hub or where it is registered in archives and I think the university will be able to accomplish that," he said.

According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau Survey, nearly 350,000 Portuguese-Americans live in California.

Most live in the Central Valley between Bakersfield and Modesto with ties to agriculture.

Borges says the institute will connect many generations.

"But also having Valley folks who are Portuguese background, Americans who have a Portuguese background to basically have a form where we can discuss some of the contributions Portuguese have made to the Valley," said Borges.

The institute will host its first lecture series on campus, February 13th. The public is invited to attend.

"It is with the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro. He will be visiting Fresno State on an invitation from University President Joseph Castro," said Borges.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.