Rotary Friendship Exchange - District 5370 & District 4521 (Minas Gerais)

Rotary Friendship Exchange is a great way to travel, learn about how the locals live in their land and make lifelong friendships while discovering cultures and communities in a unique way. The Outbound Team normally consists of 8-14 individuals (either couples or single adults over 21 years of age).   

Rotarians from District 5370 will host 10-12 of our friends from District 4521 in July of 2020 (Exact dates to be determined) and 10-12 Rotarians from District 5370 will visit Minas Gerais 6 months later (in the winter of 2020-21).  


Rotarians and their immediate families are eligible to participate in the Visitor (hosting) Program. Involvement is limited to Rotarians and their spouses in the Team (outbound) Program. The Rotarian family member must participate in the exchange for spouses and adult children (over 21) to be eligible. To be fair, Rotarians who have hosted in the past and not gone on the outbound part of the exchange will be given preference over first-time applicants.


The outbound portion of the exchange normally lasts 14 days. You are more than welcome to take extra time before or after the program to explore Brazil on your own. While on exchange in Minas Gerais, you will attend Rotary Club meetings and be required to participate in a presentation about our District and your Rotary Club.

Visiting Rotarians are hosted for 3-4 days in each city. If you are selected for the outbound team, it is your responsibility to work with your Rotary Club President to arrange to host our guests for 3-4 days and arrange travel either to or from your city. You will have a budget to work with to cover events, meals and transportation, and you will need to find Rotarians in your club willing to open their homes to host visitors.


You are responsible for paying the return airfare to the starting city of this exchange (Edmonton to Minas Gerais will cost between CA$1,300 to CA$1,800 - estimated, depending on departure dates). You are also responsible for paying the per-person budget amount (to be determined) - this covers all your expenses (meals, scheduled events, Rotary meetings, housing with Rotarians) while on the Exchange (with the exception of alcohol). In addition, it is customary to bring a small token of thanks to each hosting family. Outbound team members will also be asked to contribute an amount (e.g. 25.00) towards group gifts presented at each of the different cities. Previous budget amounts have ranged from CA$800 - CA$1,100. (The per-person costs for this exchange have yet to be determined - amounts are presented for information only and when a final amount is negotiated with District 4521, it will be communicated to applicants.)


We are looking for representation from different clubs in different parts of the District (ideally not a large group from one club). The quality of the experience you are able to provide to our guests will be taken into consideration. Preference will be given to Rotarians who have contributed in the past by opening their home to inbound Friendship Exchange guests. Every attempt will be made to accommodate all applications however the reality is we will likely end up with more Rotarians who wish to go than we can send. A small committee of past exchange participants will be asked to review applications and help to inform the final decisions made by the Friendship Exchange Chair.



Minas Gerais is a landlocked state in the west of Brazil. It is the second most populous and the fourth largest state in terms of its geographical area. More than 20 million people in 853 cities.

Its capital city is Belo Horizonte, which is nestled in the centre of the state. It shares borders with Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and the Federal District of Brazil. 

For those seeking a tangible sense of Brazilian history, no state compares with Minas Gerais. The tortuous cobblestone streets and baroque monuments of colonial mining towns like Ouro Preto, Congonhas and Tiradentes have seen it all, from the horrors of slavery to the fervour of Brazil's 18th-century independence movement.



District 4521 was created in 2019 following the merger of Districts 4520 and 4580.

Working in Minas Gerais specifically, our district includes 89 clubs (88 local clubs + 1 e-club - Rotary e-club Motorcyclists) in 62 cities in the Midwest, Zona da Mata and Vale do Jequitinhonha.

Cities in District 4521 with Rotary Clubs:




It is home to some of the longest rivers and highest mountains in the country, as well as to several hydroelectric power plants. It also still boasts many impressive mines, which yield gold, emerald, topaz and aquamarine.

Add to this the cosmopolitan charms of Belo Horizonte, the fabulous flavors of comida  mineira (the region's characteristic cuisine, cooked over a woodfired stove), the intoxicating effects of Brazil's best cachaça (sugarcane alcohol) and the locals’ legendary hospitality, and it's hard to resist Minas’ seductive spell.

A place where the exuberance of nature combines with the simplicity of the past and where people live in harmony with the new. The State of Minas Gerais holds surprises for both those who enjoy tranquillity and for those who prefer the rush of adrenaline. For those fascinated by food and young people in search of fun. The hospitality of the people of Minas Gerais, where "there is always room for one more at the table!" is famous throughout Brazil. To experience the variety and beauty of Minas Gerais, it's not enough to just read about it you must experience it for yourself.