Special | Management in focus – Teresa Surita

Teresa Surita believes that politics is the main instrument to transform realities (Photo: Promotion)

Gabriel Abreu – From Cenarium Magazine

BOA VISTA (RR) – Maria Teresa Saenz Surita Guimarães is graduated in Tourism and affiliated to the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB). With more than 30 years in public life dedicated to the State of Roraima, especially to the capital Boa Vista, where she was elected mayor five times to command the city that embraces almost 70% of the State’s population.

Besides being mayor for five mandates, Teresa was also elected twice as a federal lawmaker for Roraima. She was born in São Paulo, in São Manuel, but moved to Boa Vista in 1987, when Roraima was still a Territory.


It was when she started working in a volunteer program and had the opportunity to get to know and identify the needs of the then future state of Roraima, far from the economic and political center of the country and little known. For Teresa, this was not just any job. It was the beginning of a heart and soul commitment that introduced her to public life and justifies her entire career until today.

Throughout her performance as a manager, she has always tried to take care of people, defending politics as the main tool for social transformation. Years ago, she was successful with the achievements of the “Crescer” project, nationally recognized and awarded, which took many vulnerable teenagers off the streets and reduced urban violence rates. Before her penultimate term as mayor, she specialized in Early Childhood at Harvard, in the United States.

She has not left aside young people and adults, but it is scientifically proven that investing in children, since gestation, brings many more changes to society, with more developed and molded human aspects for family coexistence. This is how the Família Que Acolhe program was implemented.

In 1992, Teresa was elected mayor of Boa Vista for the first time. In 2000, she was elected for her second term, and was reelected in 2004. In the year 2012, she was elected mayor of Boa Vista for the fourth time and, in 2016, again re-elected for her fifth and final term.

She was elected for the first time to take one of the state’s eight seats in the House of Representatives, in 1990, when she resigned two years later to take office as Mayor of Boa Vista. In 2010, for the second time, she ran for federal deputy and was elected to represent Roraima in Brasilia.

Among the advances, the capital Boa Vista is the only Brazilian city, out of the more than 5,500 municipalities in the country, which offers seven months of maternity leave for the city’s civil servants. These extra 30 days of the mother with the child are extremely important, because this is when the baby enters the introduction phase. The mother’s presence also makes the baby more secure, confident, which will contribute a lot to the formation of a teenager and a much better adult, more understanding and sensible in their decisions.

What Teresa thinks:

She believes that politics is the main instrument for transforming realities. Good politics really changes people’s lives. She always says that the difference between one politician and another is not in what they say, but in what they do. To know a politician well, all you have to do is look at his or her history.


She considers herself a determined and idealistic person. He always nourishes the hope and the purpose of making a difference in the State of Roraima. She has prepared herself for years and has viable goals for Roraima. For her, a public manager needs to be well prepared for each achievement she aims for. She likes to work with technicians, good and capable people who know how to do things well. Nobody does anything alone. She believes in team work and values each person in the construction process.

Not afraid of challenges

When people say “this is a problem” or “it is very difficult to solve”, it is up to her. She works to get it done and states that difficulties don’t scare her.

“I think like that. I believe that for everything there is a solution. The difference is the way of doing it, so that the result is forever. We have serious challenges to face in Roraima, starting with health, education, security, the roads, and the generation of employment and income. Everything is a priority, in fact, and all areas need planning, resources and transformation. We need to work and move forward,” says Teresa.

Former mayor Teresa Surita is the MDB pre-candidate for the Government of Roraima in the 2022 elections. In February this year, when she launched her pre-candidacy, she said she wants to do for the state what she did in Boa Vista. After five terms in charge of Boa Vista’s City Hall, she ended her term, in 2020, with 93% of popular approval.

“A state, to be strong, needs a well-functioning capital, a modernized city, with resources and services that serve the population well and, fortunately, we prepared Boa Vista to be like that. But a state will never be strong if the countryside is weak. And I want to change this. We need supported municipalities, with infrastructure, attention, technology, roads, in order to promote, in fact, the changes that need to happen. But this cannot be just talk. For me, it is a development model”, he highlighted.

Among the objectives for the future, Teresa Surita highlights: to rebuild schools and education, hospitals and public health care, to make Roraima one of the largest agricultural frontiers in Brazil; to strengthen public security and reduce the rates of violence against women, violent crimes and suicides that, currently, place Roraima in the worst ranking of the country; to create alternatives for the generation of clean and renewable energy; to rebuild the main road network in Roraima and the access by local roads and, of course, to work on a policy of early childhood development throughout the state.


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