Portuguese Jamaicans

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Portuguese Jamaicans are Jamaican citizens of Portuguese origin or descent.

Most Portuguese came to Jamaica were Sephardi Jews who fled their country because of the Inquisition which persecuted individuals of Jewish faith. The Jews remain in Jamaican after the British conquest and began to practice their religion openly as they established synagogues of which only one remains today, Synagogue Sha’are Shalom, the house of worship of the United Congregation on Israelites.

Indentured Labourers

In addition to Portuguese Jews arriving in Jamaica during Spanish colonization, there was also a small influx of about 200 indentured labourers from Portugal and Portuguese territories such as Madeira and the Azores, after the abolition of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s, from 1839 to 1841. Although not nearly as large in number as the later Indian labourers or even the Chinese, they did nevertheless add an overwhelmingly Catholic, non-Jewish element to the Portuguese Jamaican population.


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