Foz do Iguazu is home to 309,000 heterogeneous inhabitants mainly composed of Chinese, Germans, Arabs, Argentines, French, Lebanese, Italians, and Paraguayans. The city is second in the country to have the largest community of Chinese.
As most Brazilians are known for, the Iguaçuences (as the people in Foz do Iguazu are called) are generally optimistic and passionate individuals; they are also noted to be very entrepreneurial as manifested by the city’s strong economy.
Although not a native of Foz do Iguazu, Alberto Santos-Dumont, an early aviation pioneer, had a huge contribution in making the city what it is today. In 1916, he visited the region and was very impressed by the beauty it holds. This then pushed him to suggest that more attention is given to it by the government and land is appropriated for it to showcase its magnificence. This suggestion was openly welcomed by the administration; the area was cultivated and developed. Years later, Parque do Iguaçu or Iguazu Park was born as a result of the land appropriation.
Among those who also contributed to the strengthening of Foz do Iguazu as a city are Engel Rios, the city’s first hotelier, and Jorge Schimmelpfeng, Foz do Iguazu’s first mayor.