Thursday, September 8, 2011

Emigration Center in Vopnafjörður

Vopnafjörður hosts the East Iceland Emigration Center in Iceland.  As with many such institutions, this one is the result of the dedication and hard work of individuals committed to the preservation of ties between North America and Iceland.  In this case, Cathy Josephson moved from Lyon County, Minnesota to Vopnafjörður in 1995 after visiting Iceland and discovering her roots.  Ever since, Cathy has helped Icelanders, Americans, and Canadians reestablish family connections lost long ago.  We arrived the day after an American family had met for the first time their long lost relatives in the area.  It was a clearly moving moment for the families and Cathy.  We also met with Þórunn Egilsdóttir, the Chairman of the Vopnafjörður Town Council.  She shared with us her optimism that oil, gas, and mineral exploration in the Drekki area off the Icelandic Coast will bring much needed investment and economic activity to the region.