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Stories of the Red Soil Immigrants

Valeria Scherf Vanstrien

Pages: 268
ISBN: 978-145752-692-3
List Price: 17.95
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Available: February 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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Many countries’ economies were so shattered after WWI that many citizens felt impelled to seek new lives elsewhere. This book is about eight European immigrant families who traveled up the Paraná River from Buenos Aires, Argentina to the red soil region of Misiones – the home of the Guaraní people, the local Indian tribe. The possibility of being able to purchase 35 hectares of land motivated immigrants to make this long and exhausting trip upriver.
They knew that their decision to settle in the Argentinian jungle would mean that they would be facing unknown perils in a region inhabited by Indians who practiced a culture radically different from their own. They knew they would be living in a jungle region inhabited by jaguars, snakes, spiders, and other unknown species. Discover the odyssey of these immigrant families as they began establishing themselves in new colonies along the Paraná River.

An Argentinean immigrant living in the United States and the daughter of German-Brazilian immigrants to Argentina, Valeria Scherf Vanstrien honors European immigrants for the courage and bravery needed when they left their European motherland to seek a new life in a faraway land in her books, Stories of the Red Soil Immigrants and Historias de europeos en la tierra colorada. Since childhood, Valeria has been a passionate reader as books opened up new worlds for her and were always a great source of comfort to her. As a teacher she has always tried to pass on her love of reading to her students and, now, as a mother, she tries to convey this passion to her children. A teacher by vocation, a wife and a mother, Valeria is currently exploring the path of becoming an independent writer.

Valeria Scherf Vanstrien was born in the German community of Puerto Rico, in Misiones Province, Argentina, where German was the language spoken at home. She attended elementary, middle and high school at San Alberto Magno School. She attended the Superior Institute “Antonio Ruiz de Montoya” where, in 1995, she received a B.A. in English with certification for High School. In 1995, she also obtained a degree as Technician in the Practice on Taxes and Prevision at the Escuela Superior de Comercio N° 6 “Mariano Moreno” (High School of Commerce No. 6 “Mariano Moreno”) in Posadas, Misiones Province, Argentina.
She worked as an elementary teacher at the school, “Posadas Colegio Moderno,” as a high school teacher in the high school and tertiary level of the school Comercio Nº 2 “Independencia Nacional,” and in the tertiary institute IPESMI in the towns of Jardín América and Eldorado, in Misiones Province, Argentina.
In 2006, she was selected by the American organization VIF (Visiting International Faculty) to come to work as an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher in a public school in Charlotte Mecklenburg County Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. In 2009, she received a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree at Greensboro College. Two years later she received a Master in Education degree from Montreat College, in North Carolina, USA.
She currently lives with her husband and children in South Carolina, USA.