Patagonia

In 1865, more than 150 intrepid Welsh men, women and children set sail from Liverpool, UK aboard the Mimosa. Their aim was to establish a settlement in the Chubut Valley in Southern Argentina, 8000 miles across the Atlantic.

They wished to find a new home in a new country where they could protect their language and culture.

Over the next 50 years, hundreds of Welsh people emigrated there, establishing towns and thriving Welsh communities in which the Welsh language was prominent. The settlement became known as Y Wladfa (pronounced oo lad va).

Today the Welsh-Argentinian population is centred on the Chubut Valley (where the main towns are Trelew, Gaiman and Dolavon) and the Andean Region (including the towns of Trevelin and Esquel). The population of Trelew, the largest town in the Chubut Valley, is more than 120,000, and that of the province of Chubut around 500,000. Only a small proportion of the population is of purely Welsh origin, but many have some Welsh heritage and the culture retains a strong sense of having Welsh roots.

Three Welsh-Spanish bilingual schools are established in Trelew, Gaiman and Trevelin.

The Eisteddfod y Wladfa, which is held every October, and the youth Eisteddfod, held in September, are stronger than ever. Also many smaller eisteddfodau are held in the Chubut Valley, Porth Madryn and the Andes.

 

Activities in the Patagonia theme