Brazilians have become a major presence on Martha's Vineyard. In the British newspaper the Financial Times, journalist Daniela Gerson tells the fascinating back story, starting with Lyndon Johnson Pereira. He went to the Vineyard in 1986, worked 100 hours a week and started a small restaurant. He went home 18 months later, but he also spread the word among his friends and relatives. More than 20 Brazilians arrived on the island from his home village alone.
Now the Vineyard is home to about 3,000 Brazilians, Gerson writes. The newcomers have not always found Vineyard life to be smooth sailing. Tensions have emerged at times, not with the island's elite summer population but with its year-round residents whose jobs have been taken by immigrants.
Gerson also goes back to Brazil and finds Pereira, now 46, who is "a pillar of Goiabeira, teaching at the local school and running a community radio station in his free time. He lives in one of the grandest buildings in town, a pink Italianate house complete with pool, two refrigerators and a Jacuzzi." She explains how that came about -- part of the bigger story of immigration, legal and illegal, to and from the United States.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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