The vastness of the “New World” caused surprise to the Dutch immigrant who was used to little space in Europe. Families had to get used to the new rules of life and reorganize the ways of occupying space. It was the immigrant woman who created, in their houses, the necessary environments to provide maximum comfort to their family members; something that was certainly a difficult task.
The front entry was used on special occasions, especially for entertaining. A second entrance at the back of the house was used by relatives and people who were close to the family. There was also a third entry that was used by the family members who worked in farming and needed to clean themselves.
The couple: Leentje K. and Art Jan de Geus
Art Jan de Geus and his wife Leentje K. de Geus arrived in Carambeí in 1913. Art emigrated to Brazil when he was 60 years old, having sold all of his properties in the Netherlands to raise funds for the trip.
The city’s economy has benefited from the family arrival to Carambeí, as Aart Jan de Geus was an immigrant with great financial resources at the time. He invested his money on about 1500 hectares of land and a few hundred cows. A part of the cattle was shared with other immigrants who had the option to pay off the debt with the production of milk, which represented a new life for the population.
As Brazil Railway Company was leaving Carambeí, Art Jaan acquired over 3400 hectares from the Company’s land. Over time, these new lands were divided and sold to new settlers. In 1916, he set up a partnership with his son-in-law, Jacob Voorsluijs, and they formed a dairy company, making business in markets from Ponta Grossa, Curitiba, and Sao Paulo.
In 1925, Art also participated in the cooperative founded by settlers: it was the first cooperative production founded in Brazil. Lentje, Art’s wife, has endeavored to preserve the religious tradition in Carambeí. And even without a physical church, settlers used to meet to celebrate a cult every Sunday.