Important numbers of Germans are located along the following rivers of Santa Catharina: Rio Itajahy do Sul; Rio das Tijucas; Rio Braco do Norte; and Rio Capivary.
In point of numbers, Santa Catharina is next to the most important state in Brazil so far as German colonization is concerned.
RIO GRANDE DO SUL.
=Sao Leopoldo=, a state colony, was founded in 1824. The first settlers came from the Hunsrueck section. To-day its population is estimated at more than 50,000, mostly of German descent. We may designate Sao Leopoldo as the center of the “Deutschbrasilianerthum” of Rio Grande do Sul.
The state colonies of =Tres Forquilhas= and =Sao Pedro de Alcantara das Torres= were founded in 1826. The former was settled by German Protestants, the latter by German Catholics.
=Santa Cruz=, a state colony, was founded in 1849. Its first settlers were mainly from Pomerania and the Rheinland.
Next in order there followed an important period of private colonization. As a result of this we have =Rincao d’El Rei=, founded in 1850 by Dr. Israel R. Barcellos; =Mundo Novo=, founded in 1850 by Tristao Jose Monteiro; =Conventos=, founded in 1853 by Baptista F. Pereira e Cie.; =Estrella=, founded in 1856 by Santos Pinto; =Mariante=, founded in 1856; and =Marata= founded in 1856 by Andreas Kochenborger and Pedro Schreiner.
In the year 1857 two provincial colonies were founded, i.e., =Santo Angelo= and =Nova Petropolis=.
The year 1858 marked the second period of private colonization. In that year =Sao Lourenco= was founded by Jakob Rheingantz. The first settlers of this colony were Pomeranians and natives of the Rheinland. In the same year =Teutonia= was founded by a group of capitalists of Porto Alegre.
The last period of strictly provincial colonization is marked by the founding of =Monte Alverne= in 1859 and of =Sao Feliciano= in 1867.
In the most recent period a number of colonies supported by both the state and central governments have been founded. Of these the following have been settled largely by Germans; =Guarany=, founded in 1891; =Ijuhy=, founded in 1891; and =Erechim=, founded in 1909. In addition, Dr. Hermann Meyer’s private colonies of =Xingu= and =Neu Wuerttemberg= were founded in this period; the former in 1897 and the latter in 1899.
The German element is very strongly represented in the important cities of Porto Alegre and Pelotas as well as in the “municipios” of Sao Joao de Montenegro, Sao Sebastiao do Cahy (now includes Nova Petropolis), Venancio Ayres, Lageado, Taquara, Cruz Alta and Palmeiro.
Rio Grande do Sul has a much larger population of German descent than any other state in Brazil. The main reason why so many Germans settled in this state we may attribute to the climatic conditions which are here more favorable to Germanic peoples than in any other section of the country.