President and Founder of MBIL, Mariana Sgarbi

Mariana Sgarbi is passionate about her homeland, Brazil.  President and founder of MBIL, a Brazilian mother’s group in Illinois, which now serves over 200 members, Mariana’s focus – to instill Brazil’s culture and language in children and create connections with fellow Brazilians living in Illinois.  The group shares advice on adapting to a foreign culture, raising children in America and teaching the traditions of Brazil.  “It’s important that learning is fun,” Mariana insists.  “Children love to learn through art, music, language and special celebrations.”  

On Sunday, March 6th, Taste of Brasil Cafe, a family owned Brazilian business in Oak Park, is hosting Mariana’s group for a special celebration, Carnaval.  As she explains, “Carnaval is like Mardi Gras.  It’s a huge celebration in Brazil; businesses close for days and there are parties everywhere.  Instead of reading about Carnaval in a book, why not have a hands-on experience to really understand the meaning of Carnaval?”

That “hands-on experience” at Taste of Brasil Cafe includes music, dancing, games, stories and Brazilian food.    In the future, Mariana hopes to open Carnaval to the public so others can learn about Brazil.  A firm believer in exposing children and adults to a variety of cultures, Mariana describes the benefits,  “Experiencing a culture, broadens everyone’s perspective.  What languages do they speak?  What are their traditions?  Learning about other cultures makes people better citizens who respect diversity and are open to learning new things.”  She adds, “You start caring about other people.  Everyone needs to realize that they are citizens of the world.”  

Mariana is a lovely woman who cares about making a difference in other people’s lives.  Check out her group, MBIL (Brazilian Mother’s Group of Illinois) at:  

Thanks to Taste of Brasil Cafe for supporting MBIL.  Located at 906 S Oak Park Avenue, enjoy a visit to Brazil without leaving Oak Park. Visit:

Have you ever stopped by Taste of Brasil Cafe?  What are your favorite salgados and entrees?  All recommendations are welcome since I plan on enjoying their fare soon . . . and if my timing is right – I might even run into David Hammond.  


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Melissa Ford

As a coach and blogger, it's my intention to support people to step into a bigger, more powerful version of themselves whether it's in their personal or professional life. LIfe is about living,...