PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Patagonia - The Welsh part of Argentina

Another blog post written by a student from Peartree Languages. Ezequiel is originally from Argentina and he has been writing about the relationship between Argentina and Patagonia. Patagonia is a colony, a well-known part of Argentina, that is partly inhabited by people that have Welsh origin. Ezequiel brings in his article a part of history that says, from his point of view, why Welsh people came to Argentina and expresses his opinion about this very interesting part of Welsh history and culture.

By Ezequiel Perlmutter 

Throughout history Argentina has been marked by constant immigration since its colonization. Families, workers, young people; Spanish and Italians most of them undertook a long journey from North to South searching for fresh air and opportunities.

Where is Patagonia exactly?

Flag of the Welsh colony in Patagonia

As a part of this history of immigration there is the interesting story of a particular group of travelers; invited because of their reputation as peaceful and artistic by the Argentinean government of the time, it was believed that the cultural characteristics of the Welsh people would be useful in solving conflicts with Chile and other countries of the region. That’s how the first group landed in Patagonia (region located in the South of Argentina) the 28 of July of 1865.

Welsh in Patagonia, picture from the National Archives
With the passage of time, more Welsh families arrived in Patagonia and with them they brought seeds of fruit and trees. They built a canal system and transformed the Patagonian desert into tiny zones of grasslands, where they founded a few towns.

Nowadays, Patagonia is home to the most prominent and active Welsh community outside Wales and they continue to practise their traditions with love and pride.

Patagonia with its stunning nature
By Tereza Tothova
If, like me, you are a person that moved to Wales only couple of years ago and had an unclear idea about Patagonia  (I know, shame on me!), and would like to find out more about this interesting part of Welsh history, we have an idea for you. Gruff Rhys, the singer from the band Super Furry Animals made a documentary film about this Welsh colony. In his film Separado! (click on the link for original trailer of this documentary) he follows in the steps of Rene Griffiths, a 1960s pop star who sang Welsh ballads in the style of Argentinian cowboys. As soon as he discovers that Griffiths is his distant uncle he starts to track him down to the South of Argentina and tells the story of Welsh immigrants who sailed to Argentina in the late 18th century.

Separado! A documentary about Patagonia by Gruff Rhys
Does your country have an interesting history or you would like share your knowledge about it with us? Just send us an email with your article and write a comment under this blog and we would be very happy to publish your blog!
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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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