Emigration to Brazil.

Emigration to Brazil.
At first, Brazil seemed to Ukrainians the most attractive place. In 1895, when the agents of Italian shipping companies appeared in Galicia, promising cheap and fertile land in Brazil, a real “Brazilian fever” began. Approximately 15,000 landless peasants moved to the road, who had the vaguest idea of what kind of country Brazil was and where it was. However, having arrived here, instead of the promised chernozem they received allotments in impassable jungles in the vicinity of Prudentopolis, Parana. Abandoned to the mercy of fate, suffering from an unhealthy climate, faced with hostile Indians and, worst of all, completely devoid of medical care, many died shortly after their arrival. Part returned home. The remaining tried to establish an economy in the fight against wildlife. However, despite all these difficulties, the dream of cheap land continued to attract Galicians to Brazil. Before the outbreak of the First World War, a new wave of Ukrainian emigres, numbering 15-20 thousand people, arrived in Parana. However, when it became widely known about more favorable conditions in the US and Canada, emigration to Brazil was drastically reduced. In the interwar period, only 9 thousand people moved here, mainly from Volhynia. After the Second World War, they were joined by another 7 thousand. Many of them, however, subsequently moved to North America. Currently, Ukrainians in Brazil number up to 150 thousand. About 80% of them live compactly in the state of Parana, in an area called “Brazilian Ukraine”. The center of Ukrainian life is the city of Prudentopolis. The most influential Ukrainian institution in Brazil is the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which has 17 parafies and 52 priests. Recently, among local Ukrainians, there is an increase in the number of people employed in business, education, and other modern professions. However, most Brazilian Ukrainians, like their ancestors, first settlers, remain poor farmers. This relative stagnation makes them a unique phenomenon among Ukrainians living in the diaspora. While processing barren lands, not making their way to profitable employment, living in undeveloped, isolated regions, Ukrainian farmers are separated from the advanced sectors of the Brazilian economy. They continue to live in villages and houses that differ little from those in which their predecessors lived. Although 90% was born in Brazil, the limited contacts allowed them to retain their native language. In many respects, their rural communities strongly resemble the Galician “communities” of the last century.
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