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Rosa Toussaint

Listen to Rosa Toussaint VO French
Rosa and her husband Roland Toussaint

Rosa and her husband Roland Toussaint

Rosa Toussaint is the daughter of an Italian family who migrated to industrial France near the Luxembourg border in the early 20th century.

Rosa moved to João Monlevade in 1948 because the love of her life, Roland Toussaint, was hired as a technician to work at Belgo Mineira.

Rosa was running her business as a seamstress at that time and did not want to give up her life in France.

Eventually, she gave in and embarked with her husband on what was supposed to be a temporary adventure.

First communion ceremony in João Monlevade. Roland and Rosa Toussaint (2nd and 3rd from the left).

First communion ceremony in João Monlevade. Roland and Rosa Toussaint (2nd and 3rd from the left).

Carnival in João Monlevade

Carnival in João Monlevade

Her eyes lighting up, Rosa describes every single detail of her life in Brazil.

The couple had no children but enjoyed travelling all over Brazil.

Roland died 16 years ago and left her alone in Monlevade. Rosa’s life since then has been marked by grief and loneliness.

When asked why she didn’t return to France after her husband passed away, she explains that her home is João Monlevade and after all, she had no family member still alive in France besides a niece whom she has never met.

Rosa hasn’t been to France for more than 30 years.