Nueva Helvecia

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Rosina Peixoto
Nueva Helvecia, also known as Colonia Suiza, is a city in Uruguay.
Situated around 60km southeast of Colonia del Sacramento, this little town looks a bit like Switzerland transplanted to South America, complete with Central European crests adorning the houses.
The town was founded on April 25, 1862, by European settlers, mainly Swiss, who started to grow crops. It soon became one of the most important agricultural areas in Uruguay. It was here where in 1868 the first mechanical threshing machine of Uruguay was installed, followed in 1876 by the first steam-powered mill.
The town's official name, Nueva Helvecia, means "New Helvetia", from an old word for Switzerland. The alternative name Colonia Suiza means "Swiss Colony".

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