Community is everything.

Community is everything - Casa de maria

At Belo, we’re as focused on preserving people as we are the planet, but we can’t do it alone. In order to reinvest into the communities of our artisans, we donate a portion of profits from every purchase to Casa de Maria, our partner charity in Belo Horizonte - one of the poorest communities in Brazil. Dedicated to providing food and shelter to the homeless and most vulnerable, Casa de Maria’s contribution to the area is invaluable. With the help of Casa de Maria and our own Belo customer community, we have donated thousands of warm and healthy meals to people in the region.

The Story of Casa de Maria

Dona Nilza, a local resident of Belo Horizonte, was inspired to start Casa de Maria after witnessing the lengths some of its poorest inhabitants had to go to in order to survive. She began by handing out homecooked meals to those in need, with news of her good deeds spreading quickly. As demand rapidly increased, Dona began collecting unsold food from the central market in order to be able to keep up her work. In time, a local bishop heard of Dona Nilza’s heroic work and was so impressed by her dedication, resilience and love for helping others that he donated a building close to Dona Nilza’s home. It was then that Casa de Maria was born.
Fast forward to now and Casa de Maria is the cornerstone of the community, with a team of volunteers dedicated to giving back in any way they can. Every day, those in need are given food, a place to wash, regular haircuts and a place to learn the necessary knowledge and skills they need to build a better life off the streets. As part of their ongoing community initiative, Casa de Maria has now welcomed Não era Amor, their sister charity providing necessary training to psychologists helping low-income female victims of domestic violence. Both charities rely solely on donations and the generosity of others and do not receive any government support. Belo is proud to offer ongoing support and donations to Dona and the volunteers at Casa de Maria and Não era Amor in order to allow them to continue their incredible and necessary work and strengthen the community from within.