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Holland, in Portuguese, is Holanda. A city built jointly by Holland and Brazil should, then, be called Holan + Bra = Holanbra. However, Portuguese ortography requires that, before a "b", an "m" must be used. Hence, Holambra, a piece of Holland in Brazil.
In 1948, after World War II, Holland was not so rich as today; many families, particularly from the countryside, didn't have bright perspectives in their country, and wanted to emigrate.
Brazil was the option for some of them; the catholics had a particular preference for Brazil. The Brazilian governments (Federal and State) were offering to the Dutch immigrants 5,000 hectares of land in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo; the immigrants would bring along herds of Dutch cattle, famous for their milk production; the original intention was to start farms which would provide high quality dairy products for the State of Sao Paulo. Before the first immigrants, Holland sent the engineer G.J. Heymeijer, secretary of K.N.B.T.B. (Organization of Catholic Farmers of Holland), to observe the Brazilian scenery and analyse the viability of the project; mr. Heymeijer gave his approval.
On July, 14th, 1948, the Holambra Cooperative began, officially, to work; the leader of the settlement was mr. Geert Heymeijer.
Unfortunely, things didn't go as planned. The cattle, brought from the temperated climate of Europe, didn't adapt well in the warm Brazil, and was also severely attacked by tropical diseases. The Dutch, then, started to work with chickens and pigs, and cultivate several crops.
Eventually, the cultures moved to a product typical from Holland: flowers. Today, no other place in Brazil produces flowers comparable to those of Holambra, be it in variety or in quality. The production is auctioned through the Veilling Holambra, one of the most sophisticated in the world; the output is the largest in Latin America; most of the flowers are exported.
In 1991, by decision of the citizens, Holambra gained political autonomy and became a municipality.
Over the past few years, the tourism is becoming an important sector of the city's economy. More and more Brazilians are travelling to see this charmful city, result of the efforts of two people and their cultures.
The sites below bring more information, in Portuguese only, about Holambra:
Holambratur is focused on tourism information
Info Holambra has a more commercial focus, but includes some photos.

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