Saudade & Latin American Kindness

       
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Saudade is a wonderful word that Brazilians use to describe a feeling that has long been a crucial element in cultures around the world and particularly those of Latin America. Although a literal translation of saudade is impossible, in English it means something akin to nostalgia. It’s that almost inexplicable feeling that transports us to places, people, situations, and things so unforgettable that we miss them dearly when they’re not around.

It was the people of Brazil, who carry joy in their DNA, who coined this poetic and profound term. There’s a degree of longing to it, of yearning for times gone by. Brazilian writer Mário de Miranda Quintana – known as “the poet of simple things” – once defined the true essence of this ineffable emotion: “The saudade that hurts most profoundly and hopelessly is the saudade we have for ourselves.”

He was right, of course, but there’s an aspect of the term that has to do with the people around us and with our environment. It’s that longing – especially when we’re far away – for those who have been with us throughout our lives and for the places that have born witness to our existence.

There is saudade for the soul of a beloved continent, its warm and friendly spirit. This is a land of hearty hugs, kisses on the cheek, chats about soccer, endless talk at the dinner table, and the many small yet significant details, like when we travel through a remote town in the countryside, where folks still tip their hat and smile at those passing by.

It’s in the fondness we feel for the people around us, whether they’re friends or acquaintances. It’s in the kind gesture of the baker who offers us a piece of warm bread. Or the concierge who wishes us good morning with a smile. Or the kiosk vendor who saves us a newspaper before they run out. Or the waiter who recommends the freshest dish of the day.

At LAN, we know that every gesture matters, the little details of everyday life that customers expect from a company like ours. This is why we believe in the importance of friendliness. Being attentive to your needs is part of establishing loyalty, and we admit it when we lose sight of this value. That’s why we work every day to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and it’s why we’re constantly striving to improve how we interact with you in a warmer, friendlier fashion.

As we enter the second month of the year, a time for vacations in the Southern Hemisphere, we want you to feel saudade for the special moments that made up the past year, to make it a time for reflection and personal growth. We hope that flying with us is a happy experience that you’ll remember with fond nostalgia.

I invite you to enjoy this flight with LAN.

 

Ignacio Cueto Plaza
CEO LAN Airlines

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