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Mestre Jurandir

Mestre Jurandir has dedicated himself to the cause and promotion of Capoeira Angola since 1970. He was one of the pioneers of the Group of Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (G.C.A.P.), which played a prominent role in the present revival of the art form. In 1990, he started the N'golo Angola group in Minas Gerais, Brazil, which is presently affiliated with the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (I.C.A.F., of which he is the president). Mestre Jurandir is one of thirteen mestres in the ICAF family, and is one of the three founders of ICAF including Mestre Cobra Mansa and Mestre Valmir.

As part of his duties with the N'golo Angola group, Mestre Jurandir has organized various events with the objective of promoting Capoeira Angola; these include movement and music workshops for children at the Minas Gerais Public Library, participation in a national campaign combating AIDS, and various public demonstrations of the art form, such as at the Festival of Black Art (F.A.N.). He has also given multiple seminars on the importance of Capoeira Angola to Afro-Brazilian culture and history, as well as on the strength of the art form as a pedagogical tool.

Mestre Jurandir has conducted various workshops at college campuses throughout the United States as part of the F.I.C.A.'s international cultural exchange program: at George Washington University, Howard University, The University of the District of Columbia (U.D.C.), Evergreen State College, and at Concord University in Canada. He has given workshops to people interested in Capoeira in Austin, TX, Okland, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Seattle, WA, Portland, WA, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Montreal Canada. In August of 1997 he helped organize and participated in F.I.C.A.'s third International Capoeira Angola Encounter, taking place in both the cities of Salvador and Belo Horizonte in Brazil.

One of Mestre Jurandir's principle interests has been the promotion and teaching of Capoeira Angola to children. Through the art form, he seeks to instill in such children not only the mental and physical discipline to perform the complex movements of the game, but also an understanding of the music accompanying the art form and the cultural and historical significance of its lyrics. The art form is uniquely suited to stimulate neuro-muscular control, self-confidence, and interactive social skills in children through play. Capoeira Angola teaches children to respect the art form's rich African heritage, through singing. the game and stories told afterwards about the art form's legendary past.

Mestre Jurandir's group began working with the Nucleus of Pedagogic support (N.A.P.) in the municipality of Belo Horizontes's Miguilin Project to support and educate abandoned children in 1996. The same year, he also started a project with differently abled children at the Municipal School for Exceptional Children. In 1997, the group became a co-participant in the 'Children in the Park' project for underprivileged children of the impoverished community surrounding the Mangabeira Park in Belo Horizonte, M.G. Brazil.

Adapted from the ICAF-Los Angeles Website.