Welcomed by Catholics and supported by French officials, many Hmong from the Indochinese peninsula choose to settle in French Guiana, an under-populated department where the climate and flora are identical to the biotope in Laos. French Guiana greatly needed to develop its agriculture, as their fruits and vegetables up until then were purchased from the Surinamese and Brazilians.
The Hmong were given permission to create, in 1977, the village of Cacao, connected to the town of Roura, 70 km from Cayenne. After years of struggling to grow food on this harsh territory, these agrarian people have now successfully cultivated the land. They have also perpetuated their traditions and preserved their oral language, whilst integrating Romance writing skills.
At Sunday market, a colourful and lively affair, they proudly display their fruits and vegetables, as well as their beautifully embroidered fabrics and crafts.