Board of Directors

The Board of Directors meets once a month. The BWG does not ask the sexual orientation of its members or staff. All women are Brazilians and consider themselves Others, Brazilian, person of color and/or Latina.

Adriana Fernandes was born in Washington D.C. and went to Brazil, where she grew up, as a toddler. In Brazil she also acquired diverse experiences as an educator over 20 years, including teaching, counseling individuals and groups, managing, implementing educational curricula, promoting cultural events. In 2001 she came back to the U.S. to work on a Master Degree in Education and started advising and recruiting international students in Latin America, teaching Portuguese, Spanish and English as a second language, and currently working as a School-Based Family and Community at Somerville Public Schools and as a instructor at MAPS. She joined the Board in December of 2012. Adriana lives in Malden.

Adriana Lafaille was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and grew up in Boston and New York. She has been part of the Brazilian Women’s Group for seven years. She developed and taught the English for Housecleaners curriculum used by the BWG. Adriana just graduated from Harvard Law Schools and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. She was elected to the Board in September 2010.

Ana Nogueira has lived in the U.S. for 10 years. In 2000 she came to University of Maryland with a Ph.D. scholarship. During that time she visited Framingham, a large Brazilian community, and was invited to teach middle school Brazilian students in the bilingual program. She then returned to Brazil, finished her Ph.D.,  and started teaching History at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. In 2004 she came back to the U.S. to teach in Fall River public schools. She is currently a History teacher at Somerville Public Schools. She has three children and two grandchildren. Ana lives in Jamaica Plain and joined the BWG Board of Directors in December of 2012.

Maria Aparecida Ribeiro is from Minas Gerais and resides in Medford. Mother of two girls, Maria has been working as a housecleaner since she got in the United States about 7 years ago. Maria represents the Vida Verde Women’s Cooperative in the Board.

Maria Lourdes Silva, a native of the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, came from Rio de Janeiro, where she lived at the time, to the U. S. 25 years ago. She is a very active member of the community always willing to help. She has volunteered for several organizations, such as Respond, Jane Doe, MAPS, Best Buddies, and the Special Olympics. She also volunteers during elections to get the vote out. Lourdes lives in Newton, she has three children and one granddaughter. She is an independent consultant for Mary Kay. A longtime volunteer for the BWG, she joined the Board in December of 2012.

Regina Bertholdo, is one of the co-founders of the Brazilian Women’s Group.  She came to Boston 20 years ago to study English.  Regina worked as an interpreter for Somerville Hospital, coordinated a Women’s International Clinic at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and was a program coordinator for the Somerville Family Network.  Currently, she is the director of the Somerville Parent Information Center.  Regina was re-elected to the Board in 2005, and serves as President.


Clarete Mine is from Guarapuava, Paraná. She emigrated to the U. S. in 2000. She has a degree in Administration and Accounting and was trained as an office assistant. She interned at the BWG in May of 2014 and joined the staff in August. Clarete is an office assistant and referral in-take, she oversees the BWG finances, and has been helping victims of the TelexFree illegal pyramid to file claims. Clarete lives in Allston.

Heloisa Maria Galvãois from Ilha Grande, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1988. She is a co-founder of the Brazilian Women’s Group and its Executive-Director. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Decoration “Ordem do Rio Branco” awarded by the President of Brazil to Brazilians living overseas who are recognized by outstanding services to Brazil and Brazilian immigrants (September 2002). She worked as a community field coordinator and language tester for the Boston Public Schools for 20 years and taught Portuguese at Harvard University Department of Romance Languages.  She holds Master degrees in Print Journalism and in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University. Her latest publications are “A Ditadura como eu lembro” (The dictatorship how I remember it) in Caminhando e Contando. Memória da ditadura brasileira (Walking and Telling. Memories of the Brazilian dictatorship), printing EDUFBA – Federal University of Bahia, 2015, and “An Oral History of Brazilian Women Immigrants in the Boston Area”, in Passing Lines, Sexuality and immigration (Edited by Brad Epps, keja Valens, and Bill Johnson Gonzalez, Harvard University, The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 2005. Heloisa has two children, four grandchildren. She lives in Jamaica Plain.

Lidia Ferreira is originally from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated in technical marketing and advertising from ETEC. She’s on the path to getting her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Liberty University and currently works on a book about domestic violence. Lidia is married and the mother of three. She works at BWG since January of 2014 as a workers’ rights organizer. She works closely to domestic workers organizer, Lydia Simas, to help organize the MCDW workers’ council. Lidia represents the BWG in IWCC and fair wage campaign meetings. Lidia lives in Watertown.

Lydia Simas is Brazilian and American (her father is Brazilian). She lived in Brazil in her early childhood. She has always been interested in social justice issues and in building strong communities through relationships and empowerment. She has worked in retail, farms, and organizing retreats. She moved to the Boston area in September 2012 and has been involved in the Brazilian Women’s Group since January 2013. As the BWG domestic workers organizer she launched the Chá das Mulheres – Women’s Tea Time – one of the most successful tool for organizing workers. Lydia also helps to organize the Brazilian Independence Day Festival. Lydia also works at Grassroots International and has been credit for bridging a special relationship between the BWG and Grassroots to defend the rights of workers in Brazil. She lives in Somerville.

Sara da Silva was born in Criciúma, Santa Catarina and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is part of the Brazilian Women’s Group, where she has worked for nine years as the Group’s Web Site designer and editor. Sara graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and currently lives in Seattle.