Santa Maria de Jetibá, Espírito Santo
Coordinates: Santa Maria de Jetibá is the name of a municipality and of its capital in central Espírito Santo, Southeastern Brazil. It was founded in 1857 by Pomeranian immigrants who arrived through the state capital Vitória by going up the river Santa Maria.
Located in the south-central mountain region of Espírito Santo, this municipality has an area of 735.55 square kilometers. The town of Santa Maria de Jetibá is 720 meters above sea level, and the highest point in the state is Garrafão Peak, at 1200 meters (3937 ft) above sea level.
With a total population of 32,224 (2005), Santa Maria de Jetibá is considered one of the last significant Pomeranian-Low-German-speaking communities in the world. Those immigrants (Pomeranians), who came from the historical region Pomerania, now part of Germany and Poland where it is known as Pommern and Pomorze respectively.
In Brazil, many Pomeranians also established communities in Santa Catarina (see Pomerode) and Rio Grande do Sul (see Arroio do Padre). Santa Maria de Jetibá is a place where the people still speak solely Pomeranian in their day-to-day life. Due to the isolation of this community, most of the members of the community live in very poor conditions. Due also to financial constraints by the state, very little investment in education is forthcoming, and the language barrier persists to be a real problem for the community. This also hinders their future prospects, of course, by them not having proper education, thus a reasonable expectation in the work market. Those communities are mainly rural.
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