Emmaus Europe


Emmaus in Portugal

Emmaus has had a presence in Portugal since 1983 and the movement now has 2 member groups in the country. The two groups are “classic” Emmaus communities which welcome people in and do the work of collecting, sorting, fixing and selling objects on at a low price. The Portuguese groups promote a more responsible form of production and consumption as well as focusing on the topic of food security.


Henri Le Boursicaud, a former community leader at Emmaus Charenton in France, set off for Portugal where he gave numerous conferences, meetings and radio and TV interviews throughout the country in order to spread the word about the Emmaus movement. There he met Antonio Matos Pinho and Maria da Fé who, on his advice, set up the Friends of Emmaus association in Lisbon in 1983. With little means and in their free time, they collected unwanted goods and opened a small shop in the working class area of Chelas. Their social action focused first of all on supporting prisoners and homeless men, for whom they organised a Christmas meal at Rossio train station. The Emmaus community of Caneças, near Lisbon, opened in 1989.

Main Activities

  • Welcome, providing accommodation, reintegration
  • Collecting, reusing, recycling and selling on objects
  • Political campaigning and awareness raising
  • Local, european and international solidarity initiatives

Secondary Activities

  • Farming, organic vegetable patch
  • Repairing furniture
  • Daytime welcome centre

Key numbers

2 member groups

40 companions

2 sales areas

1 welcome centre

2 Local groups
Click to see more information about a group

With pictures