About Community

The Armenians first settled in Brazil in the second half of the 19th century, though the larger groups of our compatriots arrived to Brazil in 1920s and settled mainly in San-Paulo and other cities of the similar state.

Armenian immigrants in Brazil are currently mostly in and around the city of São Paulo, where there are churches, cultural centers, and even a subway station named Armenia. Some people of Armenian descent have become famous in arts and politics, such as Senator Pedro Pedrossian, actress Aracy Balabanian, actor and politician Stepan Nercessian etc.

The current number of Brazilian-Armenians is about 100,000 which is mentioned in the Resolution of the Federal Senate of the National Congress of the Federative Republic of Brazil which recognizes the Armenian Genocide / adopted in June 2, 2015/

One of the pioneers among Armenians who reached Brazil was Mihran Latifyan, also known as Mihran Latif, who arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1879 when Brazil was still a monarchy. Latifyan built railways in the Brazilian states of Minas Jerays, Pernambuku and Seara. In Rio de Janeiro, he built the Imperatriz Leopoldina railway and the Avenida Beira Mar Avenue. He received a medal of honor for his services.

Some Armenians moved from Riu Grandi Du Sul to San Paolo and found their compatriots there. They started out as merchants and went on to become store owners. In 1897, the brothers Gasparyan opened a textile store called Casa Armenia. Vahram Kotanjyan, prior to that had established the Lanificio Vahram wool store. Georgi Tahanyan was another pioneer who came to San Paolo from Aleppo in 1895. Starting as a worker at a metal processing workshop, he went on to become the manager and then the director’s partner. In 1898, he was the owner of the metal store called Casa da Bóia – Indústria e Comércio de Artefatos de Metais. The store is already 117 years old. Tahanyan is also one of the well-known benefactors of the Armenian community.

The main flow of Armenian emigrants began from Syria and Lebanon after 1920. Most of them moved to San Paolo and Ozasko, some came from the historical Cilicia and settled in Santus, others in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, they moved to the Brazilian states of Minas Jerais, Matu Grosu, Seara, Fortaleza etc. It is important to mention that after separation from Sao Paulo the first elected Mayor of Ozasko was the representative of the Armenian community Hirant Sanazar.

Sao Jose do Rio Preto now includes Armenia Square, built in commemoration of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide and the contributions of the surviving families in Brazil since 1928. The city is situated in the region of Sao Paulo, with substantial number of Armenian residents.

The establishment of the Armenian Consulate General in Sao Paulo in 1998 enforced the ties between Armenia and Brazilian-Armenian community. In 2010 Consulate General in Sao Paulo stopped functioning, and instead Honorary Consulate General was opened which is currently headed by Hilda Diruhy Burmaian.
The diplomatic relations between Armenia and Brazil was upgraded in 2010 when the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia was established in the capital city Brasilia. The current Ambassador is H.E. Ashot Galoyan.
 

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