19th century Welsh ethno-colony in Argentina

This might be of interest to anyone unfamiliar with it. They were quite committed to their cause and people, to say the least.


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We did have two Forum members in Yr Wladfa (Patagonia), but I presume they are not current as I cannot get their names to pop up! @hiraeth88 and @sibilazachrau. I guess those who want to learn Welsh get to do so in school or chapel. I’m not sure if the one who won Learner of the Year was on SSiW? @aran?

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That’s interesting, guess some of them are ‘still alive’. I was wondering how intact the community was at this point, how much they’d dissolved into the broader population, especially considering the small size.

I have a friend studying here with me in Wales who has come over from Patagonia. Her first language is Spanish, but her second is Welsh (and she also speaks English) - I would say her Welsh was better than mine, as she’s been learning since she was a child. She is, I think, the great-granddaughter of one of the original group from the Mimosa.


Yes indeed! Very much still there! Delegation often, if not always, comes to Eisteddfod Genedlaethol! Frequent programs on S4C about them. At one stage, there were often students like @sarapeacock’s friend, but some of them arrived at Heathrow speaking Spanish and Welsh, but no English!! Also, a sequel to ‘How green is my valley?’ was set in Patagonia! I guess you don’t live in Wales, as the voyage of the Mimosa is pretty well known!


Shwmae pawb. My husband and I have just returned from a 3 week holiday split between Argentina/Patagonia and Brazil. It was an 80th birthday present to him and we have had the most wonderful time. We visited the National Eisteddfod in Y Fenni 2016 and decided to make use of Teithiau Tango in 2017. We have not been disappointed, far from it. Our group of thirteen people was made up of 9 fluent Welsh speakers, 3 learners of Welsh and one English woman who got on extremely well together throughout the trip. We visited Welsh schools, chapels, graveyards, memorials to the first settlers and martyrs, an original mill, as well as enjoying the Celtic Festival weekend, held in Trevelin. We spent some very enjoyable time in the company of one of the great-grand-daughters of Reverend Michael D. Jones, an incredible lady named Luned Gonzales, bright as a button and fluent in Welsh, Spanish and English. For an 80 + years old she had us enthralled with her account of her life and the history of the settlement, switching from one to the other of the languages, as the need arose.


I am ‘old’ at 75 and find it hard getting to town, 2.5 miles away, and here you are going across the world to celebrate an 80th birthday! Da iawn chi! I am an advert for not starting smoking at 14!

What a lovely story and great pics - thank you so much for sharing with us! :star: :star2:

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No, I live in Australia. They’re not very interested in British heritage of any kind down here. Does anyone know roughly how large the Welsh population in Patagonia currently is?

@carmen28_1 Can you help with this? All I know is that it’s a lot more than sailed on the Mimosa!!! Took a quick look on Google, ‘about 2 million between Argentina and Chile, mainly Argentina’. As Y Wladfa voted to join Argentina, I’m surprised any is in Chile!!

Not the population but number of speakers.


Oh, how sad, it has fallen so far so recently!

I don’t think it has. The estimated number of descendants is 40-50,000.

20 years ago there were some 25,000 L2 speakers, making roughly 30,000 overall.


I have been in touch with our recent guide in Patagonia and she tells me that no-one has done a proper census but there are about 1300 individual adults and children attending Welsh classes and school. 5,000 has been mentioned as being of Welsh descent, … there are some in Chile but not in such a concentration as in Argentina. I met a man who had been a Welsh learner of the year (not of Welsh descent but married to a Welsh woman teacher) and he hopes to come to Wales with his young family to settle. The enthusiasm for Welsh is overwhelming and the people need all the support we can give them.Members of our group took gifts for the schools and young people. Claire our guide and liaison person was thrilled to bits with everything. The delight on the children’s faces when they wore the ‘Welsh Beanies’ for the photo, was priceless!


Henddraig, I have replied to robinredchest query re: numbers etc. Hwyl.

Whilst we were in Gaiman we met with Luned Gozalez, great grand-daughter of Prof, Michael D. Jones, who was one of the original settlers. She was amazing and spoke Welsh, Spanish and English whenever the situation called for it.


They’re not very interested in British heritage of any kind down here.

Not a view shared by any of my Aussie friends and family, I think. :smiley:

There have been a few very informative TV documentaries on Patagonia in the past year. One of the best was by our BBC newscaster, Huw Edwards ( a native Welsh speaker). I suspect that one or two “cyber-detectives” on this forum may be able to dig out a link. @tatjana ? :smile:

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This one?

However, sorry, some sound is obviously corrupted on this video, but this is all I can dig out. (at the moment)



I had complete confidence that you would trace it @tatjana Diolch yn fawr iti.
I was, however, a little disappointed that you took nearly 33 minutes.:wink:


Well, I was doing on previous post in another thread … :slight_smile: