Community in Portugal


Portuguese tradition was defined by the Catholic church for centuries, right up until as recently as the 1990s. Only in 1989 was the Catholic church legally separated from the government, here. The Catholic church still plays an important role in civil society in both Portugal and Spain but not nearly as it once did as a monopoly. Today, there is a diversity of civil society groups providing services mostly through the government. Unlike in the United States, both Portugal and Spain have a very centralized unitarian governments that provide many specialized services that we might expect to be provided by private businesses. For example, many of the hostels that I slept in every night were owned and operated by the government or a government entity.

What community need did I learn about?:

I learned about surprisingly few community needs, as Portugal is very close to being paradise! However, the Portuguese complain about a lack of job opportunities and the high cost of living. Both of these complaints are valid.

Why does the community have this need?:

 The high cost of food and housing in Portugal is comparable to that experienced by the inhabitants of Germany, a country with a much higher average income. These issues motivate a lot of young people to leave for a better life in other E.U. countries.