Armenians in South America

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The Armenian community in South America, like that of Australia, arose in the early twentieth century, as a result of immigrants who had survived the genocide. Although they settled in various parts of the continent, the majority went to Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, with some moving to Venezuela and Mexico. Unlike their compatriots who had emigrated to Europe or other parts of Asia, Armenians in the Americas had no previous connections, commercial or cultural, to aid them in acclimatizing to such a different culture. But, by the 1940s each of these countries had Armenian teachers, engineers, doctors, and lawyers. In addition, Armenian craftsmen opened their own businesses and, thanks to the economic boom in the region, became affluent. Their economic successes prompted other Armenians to relocate there from Greece and the Middle East and by the end of the 1980s there were some 70,000 Armenians in Argentina, 20,000 in Brazil, and 15,000 in Uruguay, concentrated in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Montevideo respectively. The numbers are somewhat deceiving, however, for with the exception of the Argentine Armenians, the Armenians of South America are not a cohesive community. A dozen churches (including Catholic and Evangelical), a number of schools, newspapers, and clubs and AGBU chapters have been established, but assimilation is taking its toll and hyper-inflation, as well as political instability, have resulted in emigration to North America.

Related articles:

  1. Armenians in South Asia and Australia
  2. Armenians in Eastern Europe
  3. Armenians in the Middle East
  4. Armenians in Western Europe
  5. Armenian Diaspora in the Last Hundred Years (1895-1994)

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