Mestra Marisa Cordeiro is the founder and director of Gingarte Capoeira and a shining symbol of the Brazilian community in Chicago. Born in Curvelo, Brazil, Marisa trained at the prestigious Cordão de Ouro Capoeira Academy in São Paulo with top instructors such as Mestre Suassuna, Mestre Canguru, and Mestre Urubu Malandro. She is one of the highest-ranking female capoeiristas in the world.
Mestra Marisa first came to the United States in 1989 as a performer with the renowned international group Oba Oba. They performed throughout the United States and Latin America. Two years later, she returned to Chicago and established Gingarte Capoeira in 1991.