Croatian Diaspora in Peru

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Number of Croats and their immigration

300-400 Croats born in Croatia and up to 6000 of Croatian descendants live in Peru.  Chronics says Peru is first South American Country in which Croats immigrated.  Many stories tells how many Croats from Dubrovnik and County of Dubrovnik, such as Basilije Basiljević in 1573, tried to find new life in the country of El Dorado. 
Relatively small number of Croats came to Peru after First World War. Main source of their living was charcoal business as well as gold, silver and cooper digging. Moreover, most significant foreigners’ colony in Peru, at the end of century, was Croatian colony in Cerro de Pasco.
After Second World Ware more than 1000 Croatian political refugees immigrated to Peru. Croatian language speaks only 10% of Croatian descendents.

Status of Croats in Peru

Citizenship status has been regulated by Article 53.of the Constitution of Peru. Dual citizenship has been acknowledged by the Government of Peru. Croatian descendents were rather quickly assimilated and shared no specific bonds with country of their origin. However, Croats were successful and distinguished members of Peru society and as such they have obtained important roles in everyday life. 
Croatian associations and Catholic missions
Croatian society “Dubrovnik” is active in Lima, and in Santa Clara Croatian Club “Jadran”. 
There is only one Catholic mission in for Peru and other countries of South America (Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Columbia) Victoria pastoral Croata and Parroqia San Leopoldo.

Croatian classes and Lectorate for Croatian language
Several courses of Croatian language and culture were held in Croatian clubs and Catholic mission.

Publishing and media
Informative paper of Croatian community and catholic mission has been published periodically. Several books on Croatian matter are published on Spanish.

Interesting facts

Since 1936, In Puente Piedra, Peru, acts Daughters of mercy which hold home for disadvantage children. They have more than 200 protégés as well as elementary and secondary school with more than 1000 pupils from all over the Paraguay, Peru and Chile. Daughters of Mercy are members of order which is established by Marija Petković from Crucified Jesus, distinguished Croat from Blato, Korčula. 
Pope John Paul II., named father Gerard Antun Žerdina, Franciscan of Croatian Franciscan mission St. Cyril and Methodius  of Zagreb, as head bishop of Tucca Terebentin  bishopric  and as  bishop assistant coadjutor of the Apostolic Vicariate San Ramon in Peru.
Father Gerard gave special care to Amazon people who live in deep Amazon forest and who are neglected by the civil and church authorities.