Latin American Chinese Community 1930s-1950s | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Latin American Chinese Community 1930s-1950s

Are there any forum members from this community? Perhaps students at La Salle, Tack Ching, or belonging to the. Saint Teresa's parish?

I am a son/Nephew of those who were in there communities. Would like to learn more.

thanks, Peter 


There are some mentions of this community's experiences in WW2 at:

It often helps get the conversations started if you can share something about your own family's experiences in the years you've mentioned.

Regards, David

My mother, aunt and uncles belong to the circle of Trinidadian Hakka Chinese who came to live in Hong Kong from the late 1950s onward. Some of the family acquaintances and relatives by marriage are Jamaican Hakka Chinese who made Hong Kong home for a while too before emigrating to the States and other parts of the Commonwealth. 

Hi Peter,

My father, uncle and aunt were part of this community. They lived with their grandmother in Shamshuipo. My father and his brother attended La Salle College and my aunt St Mary's School. My grandfather was Hakka and my grandmother Peruvian.  They were close friends of the Agon family who were Cuban. I believe the Agon family emigrated to Miami.

I would be very interested to find out more about this community. I understand they had "third national" status which enabled my father to travel to China to cobtinue his university education st Lingnan college with many ither HKU students. 

My uncle died in Hong Kong the Japanese occupation and we don't know where he is buried. He may have been a student at HKU at the time. My great grandmother also died in the occupation. We think she may have escaped to Macau so its interesting to hear there were Peruvians there. Again we have no further information. She spoke only Hakka and we think dhe was illiterate. My father and his siblings spoke Spanish, Cantonese, Hakka and English. 

If you have any more information to share I would be very interested 





Chinese Latinos in Twentieth-Century Hong Kong and Macau

Saturday • 17th April 2021

Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong are hosting a free webinar on Saturday 17th April 2021 10-11am Hong Kong time.

Please email <> in advance for more details and to register your attendance

Sorry, Peter, I'm afraid I'm not able to help, but wanted to contribute some history to the discussion.

There was a significant migration of Hakkas from the counties of Pao-on and Fui-yong (Po-on and Wai-yeung in Cantonese) to Panama from the late 19th century up to the first half of the 20th century. This migration was often meant to be temporary, with overseas work for several years and a return to hometowns in the New Territories and Kwangtung, or to Hong Kong proper. Many returned with children who were born overseas, as is the case of the Panamanian-born painter Luis Chan, who stayed on in Hong Kong. One of my ancestors returned to Hong Kong after many years in Panama, but while he ended his days in Hong Kong, our branch of the family ended up returning to Panama. At the time, I don't think that generation thought of themselves as Latin American Chinese, just as Chinese who were born abroad.

A particular generation of those Chinese born in Panama came to Hong Kong under the most unfortunate timing. In February 1941, Panama's President Arnulfo Arias Madrid, a physician turned nationalist politician who espoused eugenicist and fascist sympathies, annulled the citizenship of all Chinese born in the country and ordered their expulsion.  While Arias was ousted in a coup before the end of the year, some -- but not most -- Chinese families had by then returned to Hong Kong in 1941, just in time to get caught up in the Japanese invasion.

Thank you. Will check out! Much appreciated!


Hi Linda, i was 90% through a long reply when my computer updated! arrgghh. wll reply soon! :) Peter