PoWI Diaspora - Index

History and Migration | The West Indies | People and Culture
Antigua & Barbuda | Barbados | Curaçao | Guyana | Jamaica | St. Kitts-Nevis | St. Vincent & the Grenadines | Trinidad & Tobago

Portuguese migrants to the Caribbean may be divided into three groups: the Sephardim, the Azoreans and the Madeirans.

In terms of numbers and socio-historical importance, the Madeirans were the most significant of these three groups, for various reasons. The Sephardim did not come as a group, the Azoreans were too few, and the Madeirans not only came in their numbers, but they arrived at a crucial time in West Indian history, a time at which our post-emancipation Caribbean societies were being developed and expanded.

Portuguese migration to the West Indies actually began as far back as the early 17th century. The mid-19th century, however, was the most important era in Portuguese migration to this area. That period saw the arrival of thousands of Madeiran Portuguese immigrants to Guyana (then British Guiana), Trinidad, Antigua, and St. Vincent, as well as to Barbados, Curaçao, Jamaica, and St. Kitts.

History and Migration | The West Indies | People and Culture