Devin Meireles told The Portugal News “I do moonlight as a freelance writer so that is something I am passionate about but I also have a day job in the health care field. I like to write about true life. I get inspired by true stories or lived experiences and I am also inspired to preserve history and heritage.”

A Family Book

Devin’s story boasts rave reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads with readers finding it a sentimental and inspiring read but above all one they can resonate with. When asked about the inspiration behind sharing his family’s story, Devin said “I have always been a writer as a hobby but when I delved into family history it wasn’t with the intent of writing a book.”

“It started as just a project to discover myself and my family. Seeing as my family didn’t really have a family book with our lineage and the village we are from and how we immigrated to Canada, I was inspired to create that for the family.”

Adding that “Over the course of a decade, I was collecting discoveries and little titbits of information and facts around my ancestors and the lives they lived and the jobs they had and how that came into play with life today. One relative that really fascinated me with his story was my grandfather, so I really focused on him for a while and really carved out his experiences leaving the Azores in the late 50s and coming to Canada.”

“I just kept writing and it eventually became a manuscript. I was inspired to make it palpable not just for my family but I was envisioning other Portuguese descendants that may not recognise their family history or they do but that they could read this story and it could resonate with them.”

Devin affirmed that “the story very much details the struggles and the hardships in the distance between my grandparents. From the beginning to the end of the story it is a love story of my grandparents and their love story contributed to their children and in turn their grandchildren like myself.”

Shortened Synopsis

Devin kindly shared a synopsis of his story which reads “The Portuguese Immigrant: Atlantic Heritage Story is a narrative non-fiction book about the author’s family history—particularly the lives of their paternal ancestors from São Miguel Island in Portugal. The story begins with their great-grandparents before shifting focus to their paternal grandparents and their unconditional love for each other.”

Weaving a wonderful tale of the struggles and triumphs as well as the rich Portuguese culture of their ancestry, the book follows their grandfather, Vovô, who was the impetus for life in the New World. Embarking on the journey of a lifetime, they carried out a mission guided by true love to carve out a fighting chance for the future of his family.”

Be Curious!

When asked about his takeaway for readers, Devin said “I hope to inspire readers, you don’t necessarily have to be Portuguese to understand the story for it to resonate or hit home with you. I hope it inspires you at least to document your family history and just be curious about your roots and your heritage. We have to recognise that in ourselves to understand what the future looks like.”

Two Different Worlds

When asked to compare Canada to the Azores, Devin told The Portugal News “I see a big contrast when I go back to the Azores, the pace of life is much slower, the buildings are preserved and the history is in the streets. You feel that aura when you walk on the sidewalks or walking down to downtown Ponte Delgada, their downtown compared to Toronto is like worlds apart.”

“Just the culture and the society, the pace of life in the Azores with the people there is much slower, whereas in Toronto you feel the hustle bustle whereas in the Azores I find they take that moment to pause.”

Devin explained that he tries to go back to the Azores every year and also visits the mainland with the Algarve being next on the list, further revealing that moving to the Azores in the future is a dream for him. “Going back, it is very much a vacation mode experience but it is sentimental seeing family members and seeing what it would have been like for them back then but obviously I am romanticizing it because at the time they were inspired to leave.”

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Client;

Celebrating Portuguese Heritage & Culture

Devin told The Portugal News “Outside of writing, I do share Portuguese heritage and culture as well as book reviews but later this year, I am getting involved with the Portuguese community here in Toronto and will be sharing this on my website because this year marks 70 years since the pioneers first arrived. The community will be celebrating our heritage and culture staying alive here.”

Devin’s grandfather was one of the pioneers, and Devin explained “So 1953 was when the first ship arrived on the Eastern coast of Canada but every year from that there was a bulk order arriving so my grandfather arrived in 1957, at that point airfare was already adopted so they stopped using the ships. But from 1953 to 1958/9 that decade of Portuguese arrivals is identified as the pioneers as they were the first ones to get here and they are the ones that initiated the cultural clubs and organisations to support the Portuguese arriving so they built the foundation of the diaspora here.”

The Future

Devin affirmed that there is definitely more to come “I do aspire to write another book; I am inspired by Atlantic Heritage and my travels to Portugal. I am inspired by the similarities across villages, across lands whether that be the Continent, Madeira or the Azores and I am inspired by finding heritage in the least expected places.”

Copies of The Portuguese Immigrant: Atlantic Heritage Story can be purchased on Amazon and Amazon Spain, alternatively, it is available on Kindle. For more information and to keep up to date with the author, please visit or alternatively, on Instagram at @LusoLoonie.


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes