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A Shared History


A sketch of the Ravenscrag, the second ship which brought Madeirans to Hawaiʻi


A historic postcard depicting sugar harvesting in Madeira, which was a significant component of the island's economy at the time.

Approximately 16,000 Portuguese immigrants made their way to Hawaiʻi from 1878-1912. In total, 24 ships carried Portuguese immigrants to Hawaiʻi, and of those, 12 departed from Madeira:

Over the past 140 years, the Portuguese in Hawaiʻi integrated themselves into the fabric of local society, becoming leaders in business, politics, education, and many other fields.


We strongly believe that a proper way to honor their contributions now and in the future is to establish a Sister State relationship with the islands of their homeland.

In 1982, a sister state relationship was formed between Hawaii and the Azores, another group of islands which are part of Portugal. As part of establishing a sister state relationship with Madeira, the various organizations supporting the effort would also like to reestablish ties with the Azores as part of strengthening the overall relationship between Hawaii and its Portuguese sisters.

Sister city relationships were formed between Honolulu and Funchal in 1979 and Maui and Funchal in 1985. A Twinning Protocol was established between Kauai and the City of Ponta Delgada, Azores on November 14, 2018. The sister state relationship will also help to support, and in turn be supported by, these sister city relationships.

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