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Ani Matevosyan
Armenia participant
27 Jul, 2021

Twelve months in Armenia and VOILA!

1 min read

He came to Armenia not knowing a single word in Armenian, having never been to his motherland but endlessly curious about what he'd be stepping into once there. Leo Hototian Oliveira (26), was born in Brazil to an Armenian mother and a Brazilian father. "My goalhas been to integrate into Armenian society, become a real Armenian, and permanently move to Armenia,"he told us in his application interview. Now look at Leo go!

Having a background in economics and being a Portuguese and Spanish speaker, Leo helped academic and non-profit organizations in different fields expand activities. For example, he volunteered with the Armenian State University of Economics in Gyumri, helped Emili Aregak Day Care Center for Handicapped Children, supported The Gurdjieff Ensemble, researched for Enlight Research Center, and...oh, how can we not mention his contributions to Birthright Armenia?

What did he get in return? Leo learned Armenian through our weekly intensive language classes but more importantly by utilizing those newly acquired skills in his daily interactions with native Armenians. Ultimately it was the strong network Leo established that enabled him to eventually find a job in Armenia and stay here. And there are plans for his mother to eventually come to Armenia as well in the future. Leo'sstoryfully reflects the long-term mission of Birthright Armenia, and this is exactly why YOU should also become a member of our community.

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