Saturday, October 29, 2016

Dutch colonies in southern Brazil

Carambeí, the first Dutch settlement in the area of Campos Gerais was founded in 1912 and today, together with Castrolanda (one of the cities of Castro, Paraná), is the biggest producer of milk in Brazil. The cooperatives are also very important for the economy in this area of Paraná.

The first Dutch arrived with their families to settle in the former farm Carambehy to sell milk and food to the railroad workers.

Now, the local population strives to keep the Dutch traditions alive. An example of this is the great “Parque Histórico de Carambeí”, an open air museum to preserve the heritage of these pioneers. Spread over 100 thousands sqm, you can see how the houses, the school, kitchen, dairy production, church and even the cemetery used to be! The park is very interesting and the landscape is very beautiful. Bring your camera for great pictures here!

Photo by wikimedia
Castrolanda is another Dutch settlement, founded between 1951 and 1954. Here you will have the chance to visit the biggest windmill outside Holland – part of the Immigration Memorial.

With the end of the World War II, Europe was devastated and many families from Holland left their country in 1951 to come to Paraná with all their equipment and first cows and bulls. They settled down along the Iapó river and founded Castrolanda in an area of 5000 hectares. Later they created the cooperative of same name. The development of this area is thanks to the great work of these pioneers, who adapted to Brazil very fast and are very important to the country.

Its economy is based on agricultural production and dairy farming which is one of the most important in this region that is considered the largest dairy in Brazil due to their genetic quality. It has a considerable production of grain, mostly soy and beans. Also having one of the largest agricultural cooperatives in Brazil, which bears the name of the colony. (wikipedia)

You will learn more about the settlement in the Dutch Immigration Memorial, built in 2001 to celebrate Castrolanda's 50th anniversary. The Immigrant Museum was also opened in 1991 and there you will see objects brought from Europe and used by the pioneers.


Located only 60 km from Curitiba and 62 km from Ponta Grossa, the Witmarsum colony was founded in 1951 by Mennonite immigrants and is located in Palmeira municipality. With much effort and dedication, the settlement is today known for its fine cheese production and other dairy products. It is a quiet rural settlement where the menonites and German traditions are kept alive.

Tourists are very welcome here and you will have the chance to taste the local dishes and see the manicured gardens and plantations. The local museum is located in the former farm house that hosted the first settlers.

Source: specialparana  Photos by Google and specialparana

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