Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in his last official commitment in 2008, shortly before going on vacation break, inaugurated last December 30, in the city of Recife, capital of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, the first stage of a park named after his mother, Dona Lindu.
In his address at the ceremony, he stated that 2008 had been an "exceptional" year for Brazil and, upon mentioning the world financial crisis, said that the poor will not suffer the consequences.
"The poor are not going to pay the bill for the world crisis in this country, we are not going to harm the economy because of the crisis, we do not want businessmen to quit investing," he claimed.
In the presence of his brothers and relatives from the state of Pernambuco, the president inaugurated the first phase of the Dona Lindu Park, in the neighborhood of Boa Viagem.
The space was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the man behind the creation of Brazilian capital Brasília in the late 1950s, and the first phase includes toys for children, a game court, walking paths and premises for gymnastics. The work is scheduled for conclusion in March.
The occasion also marked the inauguration of the Memorial of the Retirantes (migrants from the Northeast to the Southeast, a character with whom Lula, a retirante himself, can identify), a set of sculptures by Pernambuco-based fine artist Abelardo da Hora, that represents Dona Lindu and her children.
The sculptures seek to pay tribute to people who, similar to president Lula's family, left their homes seeking opportunities in other cities. The sculptures are located within the park, facing the ocean.