The history of Foz do Iguazu in Brazil mainly revolves around its famous waterfalls which were found by Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish explorer in 1549. Impressed by the falls’ beauty, de Vaca called the falls “Quedas de Santa Maria”. The name was later changed to Quedas del Iguazu, a native term from its old settlers, the Guarani Indians.
Foz do Iguazu used to be a territory of Paraguay but its control was then passed to Brazil on the northern part and Argentina on its southern part when the country lost in the War of the Triple Alliance in 1860.
Until 1897, the place was inhabited only by a military colony. And because political authorities gave very little attention to it, not many really knew about the existence Foz do Iguazu.
From the status of being a colony, the place was promoted to become a “vila” or village in 1910; it was then called “Vila Iguazu”. It became a city in 1914 and was then named, Foz do Iguassu.
The economy of the city started to boom when the Friendship Bridge and the Itaipu Dam were constructed during the 1906s until the late 1980s. It, however, declined due to the recession of the global economy.
Today, Foz do Iguazu is going back up after the long-time recession.