Existing Member?

Red Shoe Diary

Welsh Argentina!

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 17 January 2012 | Views [1600] | Comments [1]

It was by total chance that I spotted a picture of a welsh church on the video loop at the Esquel tourist information office as I stood forlornly in the queue and thus I ended up meeting Mr L of north Wales who moved to Patagonia some 10 years ago, following a childhood ambition to see the welsh gauchos after reading a book about them at school.  But why move to Patagonia, surely that's a bit drastic? "Because its beautiful, the best place in the world; it has everything I want." Mr L was quite unwell last  year but it seems the whole town participated in caring for him; "in Wales I would have been left to die", well,we must remember he lived in the north!
When he first he arrived he would have predicted that the welsh language would not last in Patagonia but over the last 3 to 4 years he feels that things have changed; Welsh has become 'cool' with not only those with welsh ancestors rolling up for classes, now they are joined by their Argentinian neighbours who want a bit of this welsh action. The community is large, with even more living in Trevelin, some 25km down the road. Trevelin advertises itself with 2 things: 
1) traditional welsh afternoon teas and 
2) a museum dedicated to a dead horse.  Personally, I feel its promotion approach could do with a tweak ... 
The Welsh Assembly promotes or supports the language in Patagonia by sending over 3 teachers a year; 1 comes to Esquel and Trevelin whilst the other 2 work in the east coast communities. In case you imagine that its all boring grammar, as I confess I did, last year's teacher ran classes in Hip Hop and chinese cooking, in Welsh to Argentinians! Maybe the culture and the language can survive in this small pocket of Argentina, and as we drove away along Owen Jones road, parallel to Darwin and Belgrano roads, I certainly hoped so.



Did you find out if Gabriel Batistuta the ex Argentine footballer can speak Welsh!? from his links in Patagonia!?

  AJO Jan 17, 2012 11:15 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About zapatosrojos

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Argentina

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.