Brazil to hold first ever FamilySearch Gerações virtual event next weekend

FamilySearch Gerações — a free, virtual family history event to be hosted in Brazil Nov. 5-8 — is the result of the Brazil Area Presidency’s emphasis, efforts and desire to help the public connect to their heritage. 

Fábio Falcão Lucas, FamilySearch area manager for Brazil, said the area presidency is the driving force behind the four-day FamilySearch event — the first of its kind in Brazil.

The number of people in Brazil visiting the FamilySearch site for the first time as well as those creating accounts have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucas said. “We have so many people who are trying to belong and to feel this desire to connect, dealing with the social distancing.”

In a country that has suffered more than 158,000 deaths due to COVID-19, “a lot of people who have lost their loved ones through this year are trying to collect memories, honor those who are gone,” he added.

The motive behind the family history event is “offering solace, perhaps a message of peace, and also showing people that they do have ways of honoring those who are no longer physically close,” Lucas said. 

Though targeted toward Brazilians, FamilySearch Gerações is designed for anyone who speaks Portuguese and wants to learn more about their roots. 

Similar to RootsTech based in the United States and ExpoGenealogía based in Mexico, FamilySearch Gerações will include keynote speakers, family history classes and activities. Sessions will be streamed live on FamilySearch Brazil’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

A number of prominent Brazilians will be speaking, including:

  • Patrícia Abravanel, host, producer and daughter of Silvio Santos, who is the owner of holdings that include SBT (the second largest TV network in Brazil)
  • Zulu Araújo, general director of the Pedro Calmon/SecultBA foundation, who traveled to Africa to find his roots using DNA
  • John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul SA (JetBlue partner)
  • Carlos Wizard Martins, businessman and judge on Shark Tank Brasil, and family
  • Alessandra Almeida and Henrique Trindade of the São Paulo Immigration Museum (the first FamilySearch affiliate library in Brazil)
  • Neide De Sordi and Aluf Alba Elias of the Arquivo Nacional

Elder Joaquin E. Costa, a General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Brazil Area Presidency, and Elder Luciano Sankari, an Area Seventy, are also scheduled to speak. 

Organized by FamilySearch, the event’s other partners include MyHeritage, Preservtec and Cidadania Já.

Adriano Almeida, a FamilySearch community manager for the Brazil Area, said objectives for the event include engaging both members and nonmembers in building the FamilySearch Family Tree, increasing the number of partnerships and new agreements with archives, and helping with the Brazil Area’s goals of hastening temple and family history work.

Latter-day Saint youth and young adults will be involved in moderating the chats and answering questions during the sessions, he said. Multi-stake family history consultants are helping spread awareness.

“The Church members are very excited for the event,” Almeida said. “This is a missionary opportunity to help them engage in FamilySearch.” 

Sign up for free at familysearchgeracoes.com.br.