My father was born in Madeira Island, Santana on July 26th, 1878 and immigrated to Angola while still a child. He and his family were part of a contingent of settlers sent to colonize Angola and at the same time reduce the pressure on the government to provide decent living for the people of Madeira.
Madeira and Porto Santo are two small islands in the North Atlantic discovered by the Portuguese João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira in 1418 . During the XV, XVI centuries, Madeira Island was an important port, supplying water and food to the trading ships in Northwest Africa, Brazil and America and also an important base for Portuguese ships involved in the discoveries.
Christopher Columbus the famous navigator was married with a Portuguese lady from Madeira, Nared Filipa Perestrelo. He spent some time on the island of Porto Santo where he started understanding the effects of the North Atlantic sea currents and the North East Trade winds which helped him to sail to America.
With the demise of the Portuguese empire, Madeira soon became a forgotten land and their population had to struggle to survive. Due to its isolation, Madeirense people speak the Portuguese language with such an accent that is sometimes hard to understand to continental Portuguese. With the population growing and very small resources to support them, life in Madeira was difficult and opportunities to improve it scarce.
Portugal had no difficulties in finding in Madeira lots of people ready to try a new life in Africa.