The Ukrainian community in Brazil is one of the oldest Ukrainian diaspora communities in the New World. Ukrainians began to settle in Brazil at the beginning of the 1870s. They came from Galicia and Bukovyna and settled in the state of Parana. The first known immigrants were the family of M. Morozovych, from the Zolochiv region, who arrived in 1872. Mass immigration took place in three phases. The first wave of immigration from Ukraine, called 'the Brazilian fever,' occurred in 1895-7 and brought over 20,000 small farmers and landless peasants, who were promised cheap land by agents of Italian shipping companies. Instead of the promised black soil, the Ukrainian colonists received lots of uncleared forest in Parana in the vicinity of Prudentopolis and Mallet. Some of them returned to Galicia. After this, fresh Ukrainian immigrants arrived in smaller groups of 700-1,000 people per year. A larger influx, of 15,000-25,000, took place in 1907-14, this time in response to the Brazilian government's call for construction workers to lay the railroad from Sao Paulo through Parana to Rio Grande do Sul. The second wave of immigration consisted of newcomers from Galicia and Volhynia between the world wars. The third wave took place in 1947-51, when about 7,000 Ukrainians arrived from displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria. These immigrants were socially more diverse and settled almost exclusively in the cities. Among them were many intellectuals, most of whom later emigrated to Canada or the United States... Learn more about Ukrainians in Brazil by visiting the following entries:

BRAZIL. The largest country in South America, Brazil is a federation of 23 autonomous states, 4 territories, and the federal capital district of Brasilia. The country has an area of 8,512,000 sq km and an estimated population in 2019 of 210,147,125. Although government statistics are inaccurate because Ukrainian immigrants were classified as Austrians or Poles and children born in Brazil were counted as Brazilians, the Ukrainian ethnic group in Brazil numbers 190,000-200,000, and 92.5 percent of its members are Brazilian-born. Of all of these Ukrainians, 78 percent live in the state of Parana, 5 percent in the state of Sao Paulo (most of them in the city of Sao Caetano do Sul), 9 percent in the state of Santa Catarina, and 6 percent in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The bulk of the Ukrainian ethnic population lives in Parana in an area of 6,000 sq km that is known as 'Brazilian Ukraine.' Its largest concentration, 30,500, is found in southeastern Parana in the county of Prudentopolis. There Ukrainians constitute 75 percent of the population. The city of Prudentopolis is a center of Ukrainian life, particularly religious life. The second-largest concentration is found in the city of Curitiba and its environs, where about 13,750 ethnic Ukrainians live and make up 1.3 percent of the population...


PARANA. One of the three southern states of Brazil, with an area of 199,324 sq km and an estimated population of 11,516,840 (2020). The state capital is Curitiba. Parana is an ethnocultural and ethnolinguistic mosaic in consequence of the colonization policy started by Z. de Goes e Vasconcelos, the first president of the province. Faced with the task of developing a huge territory of 200,000 sq km with only 60,626 inhabitants, he initiated a policy of colonization with foreign immigrants in 1855. The subsequent recruiting efforts provided Ukrainians in Galicia and Bukovyna with specific information about settlement in Brazil and stimulated emigration to that country. Three waves of Ukrainian immigration followed, the first starting in earnest in 1895-7 and lasting until 1914. By 1914 an estimated 45,000 Ukrainians were living in Parana. Their numbers had increased to at least 61,000 by the end of the Second World War as a result of an interwar wave of immigration from Western Ukraine. They were joined in the postwar period by a numerically small but influential third wave of immigration, a significant portion of which subsequently resettled in North America...


CURITIBA. City in Brazil, capital of the southern state of Parana. Its population in 2020 was 1,948,626, including some 13,750 Ukrainians. Ukrainian cultural and social life in Curitiba dates back to 1902, when a Ukrainian Catholic church parish and Prosvita society were established. Today the Union for Agricultural Educational (est 1922) and the Society of Friends of Ukrainian Culture (est 1947) are still active. In 1972 Curitiba became the seat of the Saint John Ukrainian Catholic eparchy. There are two Ukrainian Catholic parishes and eight churches as well as a major seminary in the city. The Ukrainian Orthodox church was organized there in 1930 and has two parishes and two churches. A Ukrainian Baptist congregation was organized in 1950 and has its own church. The first Ukrainian newspaper in Brazil, Zoria, was published in the city in 1907-10. Later a weekly newspaper of a nationalist orientation, Khliborob, was published in the city from 1938 to 1941 and from 1948 to 1974, when it was replaced by a monthly bulletin. In 1985 the Ukrainian Brazilian Central Representation was established in Curitiba as an umbrella body for community interests...


PRUDENTOPOLIS. A town (2020 pop 52,513) located in the state of Parana in Brazil. The population is estimated to be 75 percent Ukrainian and 20 percent Polish; the town has one of the major concentrations of Slavs in South America and is one of the largest centers of Ukrainian immigration on that continent. Ukrainian immigrants began to arrive here in the late 1890s. From the beginning the town became the center of the Ukrainian Catholic church. By 1897 a parish had already been founded, with 5,250 members. Saint Josaphat parish now comprises a number of churches and chapels from the neighboring areas. A number of church organizations exist, such as the Sisters Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (from 1899), which has branches in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. The nuns are trained by the Basilian Fathers, and often they participate in other nonreligious organizations in addition to teaching at local schools and directing one of the state schools (where Ukrainian is taught as an optional subject). Also located in Prudentopolis is the printing house of the Basilian Fathers, which publishes Pratsia and Ukrains'kyi misionar. A local radio station transmits Ukrainian programs in Portuguese and Ukrainian...


SANTA CATARINA. One of the southern states of Brazil (2020 pop 7,252,502), bordering on Parana to the north and Rio Grande do Sul to the south. Its capital is Florianopolis. Estimates of the number of Ukrainians in the state range from 14,000 to 35,000 (in the 1990s) and make it the second- or third-largest region of Ukrainian settlement in Brazil. Two hundred families established the state's first Ukrainian settlement, in Iracema in 1886. They were joined by additional waves of settlers, who established new communities in Itaiopolis, Papanduva, Canoinhas, Jangada, Tres Barras, Costa Carvalho, Moema, and Mafra. They faced pioneering difficulties comparable to those of Ukrainians in other areas of Brazil, with an added problem of social unrest caused by a boundary dispute with Parana. Organized religious life started in 1897, when the Catholic priest Ivan Voliansky undertook missionary work in the Itaiopolis region. He was followed by priests from the Basilian monastic order in the early part of the century. An Orthodox church was established in Marco Cinco in Jangada. Civic institutions started with the establishment of branches of the Prosvita society in the early part of the twentieth century...

Santa Catarina

SAO PAULO. A leading industrial state and the most populous state in Brazil (2007 pop 41,262,199) in the southeastern part of the country. Its capital is Sao Paulo. The Ukrainian community, numbering approximately 30,000 (in 1991), is the second largest in Brazil, after Parana. Most of the Ukrainians live in Sao Paulo or Sao Caetano do Sul. Ukrainian immigrants began arriving in the state in significant numbers during the 1890s, although most of them were simply passing through. One of the early settlements was the colony Ukraina in Rancharia, which was formed in 1926 by 40 Ukrainian families who had moved from Santa Catarina and Parana. The scattered pockets of Ukrainian settlement in the state achieved a focal point only after the Second World War, when Ukrainian church and community organizations were established on a firmer footing. These were centered in the capital. The Ukrainian population of Sao Paulo is notable for its predominantly urban character, which is in contrast to the largely agrarian character of other Ukrainian communities in Brazil...

Sao Paulo

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