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Photo Credit: Candida Rose

Periodic drought has impacted the volcanic islands of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa, making them vulnerable to floods and erosion and difficult to farm. The earliest immigrants from Cape Verde came to the United States as crew members on salt ships and whaling vessels, looking for greater economic opportunity. Once arriving in the United States, many Cape Verdean immigrants to New Bedford found work in the textile mills, cranberry bogs, and later became active in the port as longshoremen. The last of the Cape Verde packet ships was ERNESTINA which carried immigrants and goods to and from Cape Verde Islands and the United States from 1948 until 1965.

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