The hilly – and in places almost mountainous – region of south-central Paraná makes a good stopover between Curitiba and the Iguaçu Falls for anyone interested in European, especially Ukrainian, immigration. As none of the towns in the region are especially distinctive, it’s better to use them more as bases from which to visit nearby villages and hamlets where the pioneering spirit of the inhabitants’ immigrant forebears remains. The houses, made of wood and sometimes featuring intricately carved details, are typically painted in bright colours and are usually surrounded by flower-filled gardens. Because of the ethnic mix, even small villages contain churches of several denominations; most hamlets have at least a chapel with someone on hand to open it up to the rare visitor.

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