Sara Frederica Santa Maria was born and bred at the Portuguese Settlement in Melaka, Malaysia. In 2012, she started teaching Papia Portuguese Malaka (Speak Melaka Portuguese) in her house. She started with just five students, but she now has more than twenty students of all ages. Sara also formed a cultural dance troupe, Tropa de Santa Maria, in 2012, comprised of children from the settlement. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sara has moved her Melaka Portuguese language or Papiá Cristang classes online, and she also started a YouTube channel to complement the classes. Sara’s efforts to keep the Melaka Portuguese language and culture alive have been featured in local and international media and documentaries including Great Asian Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo.