In 1888 Brazil abolished slavery and it was seven years later when 84 families from the small republic of San Marino arrived to Brazil by boat, together with many Italians.
These migration consisted of 456 people, 5% of San Marino population, almost all of them illiterates and unaware of Brazil's geographic location.
It was a permanent migration. They had never been able to come back to their native land.
Once slavery had been abolished, those migrant workers replaced completely the Africans in the coffee growing.
Living conditions in coffee plantations were dreadful. Lands assigned those workers was like a virgin forest that needed to be cleaned before being cultivated.
The migrant workers' dealers traveled through villages and countryside to assure a full load of workers for the ships heading to Brazil. Migrants were told that they could gain easy money, but sooner they had to sell all their belongings not to die of starvation.
The only way to curb those workers' pain was for them to forget about their land, family, friends and to stop telling kids about their past.
One hundred years later, Federico Carattoni, a professor from San Marino, traveled to Muqui to visit Italian relatives of his wive.
Sooner , he realized to be surrounded by people with typical last names from San Marino, but that had no memories of their country of origin or their grandparents.
Idea, photography, direction and production by: Leonardo Casali
Editing: Natalie Cristiani
Sound: Riccardo Spagnol