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Title: Isleños  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Louisiana, Cajun, Demographics of Cuba, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, Donaldsonville, Louisiana, Guanches, Alcide Nunez, Spanish language in the United States, Multiracial, Peninsulars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Total population
Canarian diaspora
Regions with significant populations
Venezuela Venezuela 42,671-600,000[1][2]
 Cuba 30,400-900,000[1]
Argentina Argentina 2,390[1]
 United States 37,008[3]
 Uruguay 628[4]
 Puerto Rico unknown
 Dominican Republic unknown
 Mexico 1,600[5]
 Peru unknown
Spanish, English
Roman Catholic
Related ethnic groups
Spanish, Portuguese, French

Isleño (Spanish pronunciation: [izˈleɲo], pl. isleños) is the Spanish word meaning "islander." The Isleños are the inhabitants of the Canary Islands, and by extension the descendants of Canarian settlers and immigrants to Louisiana, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and other parts of the Americas. The name "islander" was given to the Canary Islanders to distinguish them from Spanish mainlanders known as "peninsulars" (Spanish: peninsulares) But in these places or countries, the name has evolved from a category to an identity. The name evolved to the point that when addressing the Canary Islanders of Louisiana, they would be referred to as the Isleños, or Los Isleños.

In Latin America, the Canary Islanders or "Canarians", are known as Isleños as well. Another name to refer to a Canary Islander is "Canarian" in English, or Canario in Spanish, as well as Isleño Canario.

In Latin America, at least in those countries which had great Canarian populations, the term Isleño is still used to distinguish a Canary Islander from someone from continental Spain. By the early eighteenth century it could be said there were many more Canarians and descendants of them in the Americas than in the Canary Islands. In addition, the Canarians had many children, so that now, the number of descendants of those first immigrants must be very superior to number of migrants who arrived in the Americas. In fact, the Americas were the basic destination of most Canarian immigrants, since its discovery in 1492 until the twentieth century, when combined to a lesser extent with the Spanish colonies in Africa (Ifni, Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea; first half of the twentieth century) and Europe (since the 70's), although the emigration to America would not end until the early 80's. The culture of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Uruguay partially derive from the Canarian culture, as do the accents of these first three countries and of the Dominican Republic. Although most of the Canarians who emigrated to the Americas from the sixteenth to the twentieth century are well-mixed with the population, there still remain communities that preserve the Canarian culture of their ancestors in some areas of the continent, such as in Louisiana, San Antonio of Texas, Hatillo (Puerto Rico), San Carlos de Tenerife (now a neighborhood of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) and San Borondón in Peru.

General history

The Canary emigration to America began as early as 1492, with the first voyage of Columbus, and did not end until the early of 1980s. Between 1492 and 1501 (in recent years the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands (1402–1496), rediscovered by Portugal in the fourteenth century), Columbus made a stopover in the Canaries, taking away several people of there heading for Americas. These people would be established probably in Cuba (1492) and Puerto Rico (1493). Also in 1501 (or 1502), Nicolás de Ovando left Canary with several people heading to Santo Domingo island.[6] In the early sixteenth century, some Guanches of the Canary Islands were exported as slaves to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (in this late until 1534). Also, in the first half of the sixteenth century, Europeans organized several groups of people chosen in the Canary Islands to colonize parts of Latin America (Buenos Aires, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and Florida). To these conquerors, some of whom settled permanently in the Americas, there followed some groups of Canarians who settled in the Dominican Republic and Cuba in the second half of sixteenth century (although there were also some Canarians elsewhere in the Americas in these times). In 1611, some 10 Canarian families were sent to Santiago del Prado, Cuba (although, as in the second half of the sixteenth century, also had some Canarian families and Canarians more in Americas in the first half of the seventeenth century). In 1663, by Royal Decree of May 6, 800 Canarian families were sent to the Spanish island; it is assumed that this to avert the danger that the French seize it, since to that date they already had occupied what is now Haiti. In 1678, the Spanish crown published "El Tributo de sangre (The tribute of blood)", whereby, for each ton of cargo for a product that a Spanish colony in America sent to Spain, this sent five Canary families, but generally, the number of families sent exceeded 10 families. Thus, during the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, hundreds of Canarian families were removed to Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, with others going to places like Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina or the south of the present United States. These families were sent to populate various parts of Latin America. The tribute of blood was forbidden in 1764. Despite that, many canaries continued to migrate to the Americas to acquire better jobs and to help them escape poverty. After the independence of most Latin American countries (1811–1825) and the abolition of slavery in Cuba and Puerto Rico, these colonies (the only colonies that Spain kept in Americas) encouraged Canarian emigration. Thus, most of these people emigrated to Cuba and Puerto Rico, where they were exploited at work and paid very little. There were, however, also thousands of Canarians who emigrated to other countries like Venezuela, Uruguay and Argentina. After the annexation of Cuba and Puerto Rico to the United States and the prohibition of Canary emigration to Puerto Rico in 1898, Canary emigration was directed primarily to Cuba, with certain flows to other countries (especially Argentina and Uruguay). Since 1936, most Canarian immigrants address to Cuba and Venezuela because the country promoted international immigration, especially Spanish immigration; since 1948, most of the islanders have emigrated to Venezuela. However, since the 70's the Canarian emigration has decreased and since the early 80s, with the improvement of the Islands' economy (and Spain's in general), the Canarian emigration has fallen greatly. But with the worsening of the Venezuelan economy, many Venezuelans who are children and grandchildren of Canarian immigrants, so as many of the own Canaries who lived in Venezuela, have returned to the Canary Islands[7] (although many of them returned to Venezuela since, at least, January 2011, due to economic crisis and problems that have begun to develop in Spain). To a lesser extent, other Latin American groups (basically Cubans) of Canarian origin have also returned to the Canaries. Most Cubans living in the archipelago, lived there until the establishment of democracy in Cuba.

Reasons of the Canarian emigration to America

After a century and a half of growth there arose symptoms of crisis. The lack of output of vidueño canario, an internationally-traded white table wine (after the emancipation, in 1640, of Portugal, whose colonies were its preferred market), dragged many isleño families to the Americas. There was talk of overpopulation of the islands, so the Spanish crown decided to make the "El Tributo de sangre (The tribute of blood)", whereby, for each ton of cargo that a Spanish colony of Americas sent to Spain, they would send five Canary families. Generally, though, the number of families exported exceeded 10 families. The occupation of Jamaica by the English and the western half of Santo Domingo and The Guianas by the French, made the Crown consider this alternative in order to avoid the occupation of part of Venezuela or the Greater Antilles. In the nineteenth century, Canary lived a great economic development through trade of cochineal dye, but in 80 years of the century, trade in this product plummeted, which together with the coffee boom and the war crisis in Cuba favored a period of great depression in the Canaries. This also facilitated the Canarian emigration to Americas. Since 1893, they kept coming to Venezuela to escape Spanish military service. Moreover, in the framework of the Ten Years War (1868–1878) in Cuba, Canarian emigration was considered by Cuban autonomists and separatists as differentiated from the peninsular, leading to promote it to that place. The usual formula of emigration was employed. Complicity and fraud governed the actions of the Canarian ruling classes. In the twentieth century, poverty, the Spanish Civil War (a late 30) and the Franco regime also forced Canarian emigration to the Americas.[8]

To the reasons already mentioned, there were specific problems in some islands that also boosted Canarian emigration to the Americas. In Lanzarote, from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, in addition to those general problems, the people experienced terrible drought (1626–32), epidemics, house and tithe taxes, invasion of locusts, several volcanic eruptions (in 1730, whose consequences affected 57% of the population, of which 44% migrated), pirate attacks (Lanzarote suffered more pirate invasions than the other islands) and the harsh weather conditions. Therefore many people of Lanzarote emigrated to other Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, basically) and to the Americas (Uruguay, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela and the south of the current United States, basically).[9]


Isleños in United States

Main article: Isleño Americans

During the eighteenth century, the Spanish crown sent several groups of Canary Islanders to their colonies in the contemporary United States. Spain's goal was to repopulate some of their colonial regions. Thus, between 1731 and 1783, several Canarian communities settled in the south of the modern United States. In 1731, 16 Canarian families arrived in San Antonio (Texas), between 1757 and 1759, 154 families were sent to Florida and between 1778 and 1783 another 2,100 Canarians arrived in Louisiana. In this region, the Canarians settlers developed into four communities: St. Bernard Parish, Valenzuela, Barataria and Galvestown. The Isleños took part in the American Revolution and the defense of the Alamo, and after the incorporation of Louisiana and Texas into the United States, they fought in American wars such as the Civil War and both world wars. The Isleños also have been able to preserve their culture in San Antonio and Louisiana into the present, except in Florida (where, although they promoted its agriculture, most of the Canarian settlers of Florida emigrated to Cuba when Florida was sold to Great Britain in 1763, and still more left when, after being recovered by Spain, it was ceded to the United States in 1819). In addition, the Isleños have been able to preserve their language (the Spanish dialect spoke in the Canary Islands in the eighteenth century), up until the 1950s in San Antonio, and through to the present day in Louisiana, in St. Bernard Parish and to a lesser extent in Galveston, where basically the people speak the Amerindian Nathualt dialect. The people from Valenzuela speak basically French. In Florida there is also a Canarian community of recent immigrants and descendants.

Isleño influence in Hispanic Antilles

Louisiana's Islenos are somewhat connected by Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican culture for over 200 years. These Caribbean countries are highly influenced by an earlier wave of Spanish settlers Isleños a.k.a. Canarios from the Canary Islands, who first arrived in the Americas in the late sixteenth century.


Cuba was the most influenced by Canary immigration of all Latin American countries. In 1853, a royal decree permitted emigration to all American territories, whether Spanish colonies or free nations. This increased Canary emigration to other Latin American areas, especially Argentina and Uruguay, as well as providing more immigrants for Venezuela, but the majority continued to head for Cuba. Accurate figures for immigrants during the nineteenth century do not exist, but an approximate picture can be reconstructed (Hernández García 1981). In the 20-year period from 1818-1838 for example, more than 18,000 islanders emigrated to the Americas, most to Cuba and proportionately fewer to Venezuela and Puerto Rico. This represents a significant proportion of the islands' population, and given the relative size of cities in Latin America in the early nineteenth century, a not inconsiderable shift in the linguistic balance of such places as Caracas, Havana and Santiago de Cuba. In the half century from 1840 to 1890, as many as 40,000 Canary Islanders emigrated to Venezuela alone. In the period from 1835–1850, more than 16,000 islanders emigrated to Cuba, a rate of approximately 1000 per year. In the 1860s, Canary emigration to the Americas took place at the rate of over 2000 per year, at a time when the total islands' population was perhaps 240,000. In the 2-year period 1885-6, more than 4500 Canarians emigrated to Spanish possessions (including the Philippines and Fernando Poo), of which almost 4100 went to Cuba and 150 to Puerto Rico. During the same time period, some 760 Canary Islanders emigrated to Latin American republics, with 550 going to Argentina/Uruguay and more than 100 to Venezuela. By the period 1891-1895, Canary emigration to Argentina/Uruguay was slightly more than 400, to Puerto Rico was 600, immigrants arriving in Venezuela numbered more than 2000, and to Cuba more than 17,000. By comparison, in the same half century or so, emigration to Cuba from other regions of Spain included: 14,000 from Barcelona, 18,000 from Asturias and more than 57,000 from Galicia. During the same period more than 18,000 Galicians arrived in Argentina/Uruguay, but only a handful arrived in Venezuela. These are only official figures; when clandestine emigration is taken into account, the numbers would be much larger. For example, Guerrero Balfagón (1960) has documented the illegal but significant immigration of Canary Islanders to Argentina and Uruguay in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Following the Spanish-American War of 1898, Cuba and Puerto Rico were no longer Spanish territories, but Canary immigration to the Americas continued. Until the Spanish Civil War of 1936, most islanders arrived in Cuba, and it is difficult to find a Canary Island family today in which some family member did not go to Cuba during the early decades of the twentieth century. In some of the poorer regions, entire villages were left virtually without a young male population. Many islanders returned after a few years, although some made several trips to Cuba or remained indefinitely, thus increasing the linguistic cross-fertilization between the two regions. Following the Spanish Civil War, which created even more severe economic hardships in the Canary Islands, and in view of the 1959 communist revolution in Cuba, islanders once more turned to Venezuela as the preferred area of emigration, a trend which continued until the early 1960s.

Main article: Cuban Spanish

Many words in traditional Cuban Spanish can be traced to those of the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands. Many Canary Islanders emigrated to Cuba and had one of the largest parts in the formation of the Cuban dialect and accent. There are also many elements from other areas of Spain such as Andalucian, Galician, Asturian, Catalan, as well as some African influence. Cuban Spanish is very close to Canarian Spanish. Canarian emigration has been going on for centuries to Cuba, and were also very numerous in emigration of the nineteen and twentieth centuries.

Through cross emigration of Canarians and Cubans, many of the customs of Canarians have became Cuban traditions and vice versa. The music of Cuba has become part of the Canarian culture as well, such as mambo, son, and punto Cubano. Because of Cuban emigration to the Canary Islands, the dish "moros y cristianos", or simply known as "moros" (Moors), can be found as one of the foods of the Canary Islands; especially the island of La Palma. Canary Islanders were the driving force in the cigar industry in Cuba, and were called "Vegueros." Many of the big cigar factories in Cuba were owned by Canary Islanders. After the Castro revolution, many Cubans and returning Canarians settled in the Canary islands, among them were many Cigar factory owners such as the Garcia family. The cigar business made its way to the Canary Islands from Cuba, and now the Canary Islands are one of the places that are known for cigars alongside Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The island of La palma has the greatest Cuban influence out of all seven islands. Also, La Palma has the closest Canarian accent to the Cuban accent, due to the most Cuban emigration to that island.

Many of the typical Cuban replacements for standard Spanish vocabulary stem from Canarian lexicon. For example, guagua (bus) differs from standard Spanish autobús the former originated in the Canaries and is an onomatopoeia stemming from the sound of a Klaxon horn (wah-wah!). The term of endearment "socio" is from the Canary Islands. An example of Canarian usage for a Spanish word is the verb fajarse[19] ("to fight"). In standard Spanish the verb would be pelearse, while fajar exists as a non-reflexive verb related to the hemming of a skirt. Cuban Spanish shows strong heritage to the Spanish of the Canary Islands.

Many names for food items come from the Canary Islands as well. The Cuban sauce mojo, is based on the mojos of the Canary Islands were the mojo was invented. Also, Canarian ropa vieja is the father to Cuban ropa vieja through Canarian emigration. Gofio is a Canarian food also known by Cubans, along with many others.

Puerto Rico

In the second voyage of Columbus in 1593, Columbus took a lot canaries to Puerto Rico. Then in the early sixteenth century, according to historians of Puerto Rico, were exported as slaves some Guanches since island of Tenerife to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Between 1678 and 1764 takes place called "Tributo de sangre" (Tribute in blood), by which for every ton of cargo shipped from the Spanish colonies in Americas to Spain, in exchange for 5 canarian families were sent to populate any of these colonies. However, the number exported of families to Americas often exceeded this figure. So, the first wave of Canarian migration seems to be 1695 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico with Juan Fernández Franco de Medina [born 1646 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and was Governor of Puerto Rico (1st term (1685–1690) and 2nd term (1695–1697)], who arrived with 20 Canarian families.[10] This was followed by others in 1714, 1720, 1731, and 1797.

Between 1720 and 1730 some 176 families with a total of 882 Isleños or Canarians emigrated, with 60% married and the rest married in Puerto Rico.

The numbers of Canarians to Puerto Rico in its first three centuries is not known to any degree of precision. However, Dr. Estela Cifre de Loubriel and other scholars of the Canarian Migration to America, like Dr. Manuel González Hernández, of the University of La Laguna, Tenerife, agree that they formed the bulk of the Jíbaro or white peasant stock of the island.[11]

The tribute of blood was forbidden in 1764, but the poverty and overpopulation in the Canaries remained open immigration to Puerto Rico and other parts of Latin America. Now they migrated to these places to try to alleviate their poverty. After of the independence of Spanish America (1811–1825), most Canarian immigrants are directed to Cuba and Puerto Rico (the only colonies that remained Spain in Americas), both places get a lot of canaries, which were exploited at work, basically after of that those places abolish slavery. The Isleños increased their commercial traffic and emigration concentrated to the two Spanish-American colonies, Puerto Rico and particularly Cuba. Following the Spanish-American War of 1898, Canarian immigration to the Americas continued. Successive waves of Canary Island immigration came to Puerto Rico, where entire villages were formed of relocated islanders.[12]

In the 1860s, Canarian emigration to the Americas took place at the rate of over 2000 per year, at a time when the total islands' population was 237,036. In the 2-year period 1885-6, more than 4500 Canarians emigrated to Spanish possessions, with only 150 to Puerto Rico. Between 1891-1895, Canary emigration to Puerto Rico was 600. With these being official figures; when illegal or concealed emigration is taken into account, the numbers would be much larger.[13] In total, in the nineteenth century the Canarian diaspora in Puerto Rico is estimated at 2.733 people, mostly rural people, peasants tired of working for others in outside lands to them, that tended to settle in Puerto Rico in families or groups of families related to each other.[14]

In Puerto Rico whole towns and villages were founded by Canarian immigrants and the lasting influence of Canarian culture can still be seen and heard in the Puerto Rican accent and in the Cuatro, a small guitar with origins from the Canary Islands, already the Canarian Islands is the 2nd Spanish region which contributed most to formed the Puerto Rican population after Andalucia, being in addition the main Spanish community in that country in the nineteenth century. They were the Isleños and their families who contributed most in Puerto Rico to promote agriculture as a familiar task in involving women and children, providing, in the process, a provincial rural character and Puerto Rican society, preserving the ancestral right tropics customs, traditions, folk arts, religion, language and peculiarities festivities today are fundamental features of the culture of the Puerto Rican people. For reasons of coexistence and solidarity tended to settle in areas already living other Isleños. Preferably they settled in towns like Camuy, Hatillo and Barceloneta, Some became land owner and married taino woman .Where they tended to concentrate, and to multiply themselves by the fields scattered, rural districts, cities and towns of Puerto Rico such as San Juan, Ponce, Lares, San Sebastián, Lajas, Mayagüez and Manatí, forming a series of small villages where eventually merging with other Puerto Ricans and with the peasant jíbaro.

The Isleños came up married and with children, which facilitated the preservation of the customs, traditions, religious and accent. A group of scholars of genetic sciences, assigned to various Puerto Rican universities, conducted a study of DNA mitochondrial, which is passed through the mother, finding that the present population of Puerto Rico have in its genome a large genetic component Guanche, i.e. the Canarian aborigines, especially on the island of Tenerife. In some areas of the island, this component Guanche appears in 55% of the sampled population, while in others, particularly in the west island, the component appears in 82% of the sampled population.[14]

Dominican Republic

Another country with great isleño influence in the Caribbean islands is the Dominican Republic. Thus, already in 1501 (or 1502), Nicolás de Ovando leaves Canary with several people heading to Santo Domingo island.[7] In the early sixteenth century, according to historians of Puerto Rico, were exported as slaves to some Guanches since island of Tenerife to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In fact, according to historical data, were carried white slaves to the Santo Domingo island until 1534. The only white slaves that to date had the Crown, were the Guanches [15] (in addition, was found Guanche genes of Tenerife in some areas of the Dominican Republic in the canaries that had not migrated). There was also a small flow of Canarian settlers that arrived in the Dominican Republic in the second half of the sixteenth century, but it place was superseded by Cuba in the 80's of the same century with new settlers. However, the Dominican Republic in the mid-seventeenth century had, still, a very small population and suffered economic hardship. Thus, believed that the French, who had occupied the western part of the island of Santo Domingo (now Haiti), could also take the east of the island. Therefore, the authorities in Santo Domingo asked the Spanish crown sent Canarian families as the only way to stop French expansion.[7] Thus, for 1663 and by Royal Decree of May 6, were sent 800 Canarian families to the island Spanish, it is assumed that this was caused by the danger that the French seize it, as to date them already had occupied what is now Haiti.[15] In addition, with the Tributo de sangre (blood tribute), 97 Canarian families arrived in 1684 to the Dominican Republic and founded San Carlos de Tenerife (which in 1911 be become in a neighborhood of Santo Domingo). The Dominican authorities decided to concentrate on agriculture and livestock. They created a municipal corporation and a church for Their patroness, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candelaria). The population increased with the arrival of 39 families in 1700 and another 49 in 1709. Canarian families arrived in this year had to bribe the Governor to be added to San Carlos. In the first decades of the eighteenth century, another group of Canarian emigrated to Santiago de los Caballeros, where he will have an exclusive isleño militia, and another in Frontera, where the group founded Banica and Hincha in 1691 and 1702 respectively. In these latter developed a livestock region that grew thanks to trade with Haiti. The lack of financial resources and the War of Spanish Succession dilated and spaced greatly the number of families that arrived in those years. It was from that time when is increase significantly the number of Canarian migrants, but suffered a standstill between 1742 and 1749 as a result of the great war with England. The canarians settled mainly in the French border to prevent the territorial expansion of the country (founded San Rafael de Angostura, San Miguel de la Atalaya, the Las Caobas and Dajabón) and the founding of port areas of strategic interest, such as ports of Monte Cristi Province in 1751 with the arrival of 46 families between 1735 and 1736, Puerto Plata (1736), Samana (1756) and Sabana de la Mar (1760). Since 1764, the canarians are directed essentially to the Cibao. The thriving border towns would be abandoned in 1794 when ultimately become part of Haiti during the Haitian domination (1822–44). A portion of the population, specially from Cibao, moved to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The population of other side of the border moved to interior of the island. The isleños were, at least for a long time, the fastest growing group in the Dominican Republic. In the nineteenth and twentieth century, the flow of canaries who emigrated to this country was much less. Santana, the first president of the Dominican Republic, rented several ships to Venezuela to take to the canarian immigrants of this country who lived in the Federation War era and taking them to the Dominican Republic, but most of the 2,000 Canarian that emigrated to the Dominican Republic would return to Venezuela in 1862, when the government of Paez seemed to give security who they wanted. Many of the Canarian who settled in the Dominican Republic (between them the police deputy chief Jose Trujillo Monagas, originally from Gran Canaria and grandfather of the dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo) settled in the capital and in rural areas, especially in the east. During the first half of the twentieth century some groups of canarians came to the Dominican Republic, mostly after the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), when Rafael Leónidas Trujillo picked Republican exiles. Also arrived 300 canarian in 1955, when Trujillo impulsed the Spanish emigrations to his country to increase the white population in the same, but most emigrated then to Venezuela, because the negative conditions, that were unlike which were promised. Just stayed in the country some groups established in Constanza and in El Cibao[7]


During colonial times and until the end of the Second World War, the bulk of European immigrants who arrived in Venezuela were canaries and its cultural impact was significant, influencing both the development of Castilian in the country as well as food and customs. In fact it is considered that Venezuela is the country with the largest population in the world from the Canary Islands and it is common to say in the Canary Islands that "Venezuela is the eighth island of the Canary Islands." Thus, in the seventeenth century, Venezuela was the second place of Canarian emigration (after Cuba), the first in the eighteenth century, third in the nineteenth century (after Cuba and Puerto Rico) and almost alone in the second half of the twentieth century (in the first half was as many the fifth, after Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina and the Dominican Republic). Thus, in the sixteenth century, the German Jorge de la Espira in the Canary Islands recruited 200 men to colonize Venezuela, as did Diego Hernández de Serpa, governor of New Andalusia Province, when called to send another 200 soldiers and 400 slaves from Gran Canaria to Venezuela, where some of these canaries are among the founders of Cumana. Also, Diego de Ordaz, governor of Paria, took about 350 persons and his successor Jerome of Ortal to 80 people from Tenerife. Although regardless of whether they were Canarian or just people settled in the islands. In 1681, 31 Canarian families and three persons of the same origin were transported to the port of Cumaná, but this area was so unsafe that people settled in villages already founded or marched to the Llanos. Also the 25 Canarian families that were transported to Guyana in 1717 to found a village there, then migrated to the Llanos. In 1697, Maracaibo was founded with 40 Canarian families, which was followed in 1700, by another 29 in the town of Los Marqueses. Maracaibo also got 25 Canarian families between 1732 and 1738, while in 1764 another 14 families arrived, to which were added another 300 families exported to Venezuela. Many of the persons that fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence in the first half of the nineteenth century were Canarians or descendants of Canarians. Thus, also there are several notable Venezuelan leaders that are of Canarian descent, such as the precursor of independence Francisco de Miranda, philosopher Andrés Bello and physician José Gregorio Hernández, as well presidents Simón Bolívar, José Antonio Páez, José María Vargas, Carlos Soublette, José Tadeo Monagas, Antonio Guzmán Blanco, Rómulo Betancourt and Rafael Caldera. Notably, Bolívar himself had Canarian ancestors on his mother's side. More than 9,000 canaries emigrated to the country between 1841 and 1844. In 1875 to Venezuela reached more than 5,000 Canarian. Since 1936, most Canarian immigrants have gone to Cuba and Venezuela (some of the Canarian people that emigrated to Venezuela went from Cuba) because the country prompted international immigration, especially Spanish immigration and, since 1948, most of the islanders emigrated to Venezuela, a massive migration that did not end until the early 1980s (although there was a significant decrease of this migration in the 1970s, with the beginning of Canarian migration to Europe). Now, the Canarians and their descendants are scattered throughout Venezuela.[7]

Canary Islanders in Uruguay

The first canarians who came to Uruguay, were established in Montevideo to found and populate the region. Thus, the foundation of this city had formed by two waves of Canarians. The first one was established in the city on November 19, 1726 when 25 Canarian families came to Montevideo.[7] They organized quickly to survive in that area. Thus, the first civilian authorities of Montevideo were Canarian. They gave names to roads and geographic features. The second group of Canarians arrived in the city on March 27, 1729. In this second expedition 30 families arrived. Others places in Uruguay where they settled were: Colonia, San José, Maldonado, Canelones and Soria. In 1808 the Canarian merchant Francisco Aguilar y Leal sent an expedition of 200 people from the eastern islands of Canary Islands to Montevideo, recovering so the Canary emigration to Uruguay, although it was quantitatively superior in size to that of the first half of the eighteenth century (between 1835 and 1845 around the 8,200 canaries emigrated to Uruguay, which constituted 17% of all immigrants and 65% of Spanish). This emigration basically will not terminate until 1900. Thus, during the nineteenth century more than 10,000 Canarians settled in Uruguay, the majority from the eastern islands, depopulated leaving more than half of Lanzarote´s island. However, in the late nineteenth century, only 5,749 persons remained permanently in Uruguay. During the twentieth century also arrived some groups of canaries, which are still mainly of the eastern islands. Although specific figures of this emigrate are not known, the Canary emigration to this country in the twentieth century, not due have been very great, although itself enough to form specific associations of canarian people. The Canarian and their descendants are scattered throughout Uruguay.[16] Thus Uruguay ranks post five after Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominic Republic in the number of people of Canarian descent.

Canary Islanders in others places of America

The Canary emigration in Argentina before the nineteenth century was very low, except the people who participated in the first foundation of Buenos Aires by Pedro de Mendoza in 1535 (that were three companies of soldiers from Tenerife). In 1830, came to Buenos Aires several ships with immigrants canaries. A group of the immigrants settled in the interior and other group settle in the capital (In any case, the descendants of some Canarian families established in Buenos Aires, have diluted gradually throughout Argentina). Although the number of canaries who immigrated during the nineteenth century to Argentina was not comparable to those who emigrated to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Uruguay, in some years, the number of canaries was remarkable. Thus, between 1878 and 1888, emigrated to the 3,033 canaries with this target. In the twentieth century, emigration was relatively high among the islanders, but did not reach the target volume of Cuba and Venezuela and only got to be the 5 th Spanish autonomous community of immigrants in this country. Despite of this, in the 30 of that century, the Canarian government put the number of canarian and descendants of them in that country by about 80,000 people. In 1984 there were 1.038 canaries in Buenos Aires. To preserve their identity and mutual aid they created several organizations.[7] In the nineteenth century, several Canarian families of Buenos Aires, were established and Paraguay, founded the town of Candelaria.

As early as the sixteenth century, Francisco de Montejo, as did other conquerors of the Spanish colonies in Americas, recruited to Canarian expeditionaries to collaborate with him on expeditions to Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. After of the Canarian participation in the conquest of Mexico, some Canarians people and Canarian families emigrated to Mexico between the second half of the sixteenth century and the seventeenth century (as is the case of Azuaje Families),[17] thus the Canarians founded some zones in Nuevo León. In the eighteenth century, when the Spanish crown promoted the Canary emigration to Americas through the Tributo de sangre (tribute of blood), many Canarians settled in the Mexican part of Yucatan Peninsula. Thus, settles in places as Mérida, Campeche and Quintana Roo (where be established 149 Canarians between 1733 and 1735), controlling for a large part of the eighteenth century the foreign trade which served the peninsula and still an important part of Spanish families established there.[7] Later in the twentieth century, another group of canaries was established in Mexico. His arrival came in the early 30's. However, after the Spanish Civil War, Canarian exile in Mexico led to country to some Canarians prominent intellectuals like Agustín Millares Carlo and Jorge Hernández Millares[18]

In Colombia, in 1536, Pedro Fernandez de Lugo formed an expedition of 1,500 people, half of them (750 people) Canarians, for the conquest of Santa Marta. In addition, Pedro de Heredia lead 100 men from the Canary Islands to Cartagena de Indias. However, in the sixteenth century, a period in which Canary was still repopulating, many people who emigrated to Americas from the Canary Islands were, in fact, Spaniards or foreigners, making it difficult to know how many of immigrants were really Canarians in the sixteenth century.[7] Like that are also recorded some Canarians and Canarian families, at least of Lanzarote, who settled in Cartagena de Indias and Cáceres, Antioquia, already since the second half of the sixteenth century[9] and with the approval of the tribute of blood in 1678, emigrated, at least, some Canarian families at Santa Marta.[6] In 1534, Bartolomé García Muxica, founder of Nombre de Dios, Panama, brought to several people the Canary Islands to that place.[7] So, we know of some Canarian families who emigrated to Panama during that time.[9]

In 1787, 306 canaries arrived to Mosquito Coast in Honduras. However, the plan for populating the area failed, owing to the hostility of the Zambos and Miskito Indians and the unhealthiness of the area. Only bear fruit in the Honduran port of Trujillo, where they would engage in agriculture in the surrounding lands and the highlands where they would found Macuelizo in 1788.[7] Also, in 1884, emigrated over of 8,100 canarians to a small town in Costa Rica, when this country promoted Canarian emigration to populate the uninhabited town (although some Canarian people in Costa Rica already be registered since the XVI). In 1903, a fleet arrived in the Lago Budi, Chile, with 88 canaries families -400 persons- that currently have more than 1,000 descendants. They responded to the government's call to populate this region and signed contracts for the benefit of a private company. Some were arrested while trying to escape and indigenous communities, the Mapuches, took pity on the plight of these canaries that were established in their former lands and they be did their part. The Indians welcomed them and made demonstrations in the so-called "revolt of the canarian.[19]

Little is known about and Canary emigration to Brazil. It is known, however, that since the sixteenth century, Canary was a bound transit between European vessels bound for America (many of which were bound for Brazil), which would probably moving some Canarians to the Portuguese colony. Already in 1812 a small group of Canarians (all they from Lanzarote) lived on the Santa Catarina island, in the Brazil's south. So, there an estimated of only 50 Canarian people emigrated to Brazil in this century.[20] Moreover, during the last years of the nineteenth century some propaganda leaflets were printed with the goal of sending Canarians to Brazil as labor. No information on the actual effectiveness of these measures propaganda. Moreover, in the Canary Islands are also there publications against this emigration movement, through the press insular, whose articles provide a very negative vision in when the quality of life of migrants in Brazil.[21] Also, some groups of Canary Islanders who sailed by boat to Venezuela during the early twentieth century were pushed to Brazil (where more of 100 Canarians arrived between 1949 and 1950), the French Antilles,[7] Guayana or to Trinidad Island (where 217 Canarians arrived between 1949 and 1950)[22] where they definitively established,[7] to which should added some Canarians who emigrated directly to Brazil from the Canary Islands. However, most of the canaries who emigrated to Brazil settled in this country for the 60s of the twentieth century when, as early of this century, vessels were taken to Venezuela wrecked off its coast.[21]

See also


  • [1] Official Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society 1345 Bayou Road, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana 70785.

External links

  • Canary Islanders Heritage Society

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