Photographs: the 60th anniversary of Okinawan immigration to Bolivia
August 25, 2014 Masaaki Umeda of the Ryukyu Shimpo
This year marks the 60th year since Okinawans emigrated to Bolivia under the immigration plan by the Ryukyu Government. After 1954, 3,385 Okinawan people emigrated to Bolivia on 19 occasions over 10 years. The migrants established a community by reclaiming dense forest.
About 800 Okinawan Bolivians currently live in three transmigration sites. Despite the difficulties the pioneers experienced, Okinawan migrants succeeded in large-scale mechanized farming. The Bolivian government approved the farm area as “capital of wheat,” which is known for its high standard in the country.
From August 17 to 18, a harvest festival and a ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the immigration were held in Bolivia.
The descendants of Okinawan people who emigrated to Bolivia and then moved to other South American countries, and a visiting group from Okinawa took part in the ceremony.
With other Bolivians living in the settlement area attending, all the community members pledged to encourage development in the Okinawa Bolivian community.
Ryukyu Shimpo presents a photo gallery of the settlement sites .
(English translation by T&CT)
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