Hello from Patagonia

I believe some teachers from Cymru go to Patagonia to teach there, yes/no?
Re-generations, it is certainly true that enthusiasm for our own language seems to go in cycles in Cymru. My Taid’s generation were beaten out of it and raised my dad’s generation to see it as useless. My generation varied, but a lot of us were very pro and very Nationalist, not that I ever believed in the meibion Glyndwr approach!

Dear Seren,

Unfortunately I do not see any interest among younger people either. But I think it has more to do with the country and its structure.

This is in the heart of the people a centralistic country. People still think that in the capital everything is better. Life is more thrilling or exciting, there are more possibilities and opportunities in the capital. And people from the capital would look down upon us, the ones from the province, the countryside. Even economically, we get the left over goods from the capital down here in the far South.

Apart from that young people here are on the technology hype and show a great interest for the US. Without giving it a further thought everything seems to be better in the US. Newer, bigger, more advanced,…

So I think the real problem is what does Wales represent? Country life, many sheep, history, …the first Welsh settlers here were fruit farmers.

So it really doesn’t coincide with the current interest of the people.

Just think about, last year we celebrated the 150 year anniversary of the arrival of the Welsh and a couple of months before that the local government closed the museum and tore it down. Supposedly to build a new, more modern one. Currently, there is no construction work being done on the site. The museum was old, but in good enough shape. So why tear it down just before the big anniversary event? Why not do it afterwards? And people don’t even bother.

Europe has that big hype about the healthier life on the countryside. The latter is being romantisized. And that helped forment the interest in country cooking, had rich people move back to the countryside to raise their children and thus in the end also helped to foster the interest in the Celtic languages.

People tend to think that we are living 30 years behind here. So maybe there is hope for the Welsh culture and language around here, just not yet. Because according to that way of thinking that vintage hype, the apreciation of the countryside should arrive in a couple of years…

I hope that answers your question.
Take care



Dear Sibila,
Thank you for your answer.I understand the situation a bit better now.

I can see what you mean. It’s sad but true that people tend to forget or dismiss their past for the sake of being modern. It happens everywhere. Huizinga wrote in his Autumn of the Middle Ages that “modernity” “is, as always, only accessible to us at the expense of temporarily turning a blind eye on past beauty or truth”. But luckily the history and the fashions move in circles, so I’ll hope that the European fascination with their rural past and the Celtic ancestry soon arrives to you too, and that people young and old develop a deep interest for it.


I was thinking just the same when I read @sibilazachrau’s posting. Certainly the eagerness for peace, beauty and even history comes after the rush to new, modern and polluting cities!! If we ever move to entirely non-polluting cars (electric or hydrogen powered), then cities may become livable which may alter the cycle, which would be sad as the country has so much to offer!!


When I leave my teaching job (soon), I want to live on a farm:) And there are more and more people here who are ready to leave cities to rediscover a quieted way of life, in tune with the nature. So, hopefully, it will lead to a more acute interest in history, as well.


Dear Seren,

Unfortunately people over here show in general a lack of interest in history. People tend to think that history started with the arrival of the Spanish conquerers. And I keep fighting, arguing and telling people that this is not right. Because the Spanish did not arrive to an empty country. People tend not to like to know or admit the indiginous past of the country. Obviously some tribes were more advanced than others, but the Mayas for example were pretty sofisticated.

It makes me really sad to see how we deny and neglect our own past!

I wish you good luck with your project. Sounds like a great plan!!! Enjoy it!!!

Take care


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Dear Henddraig,

I think all this tecnology hype makes us forget what life is really about. We spend more time in front of the screen than with real people! Even when being in company.

I am working in the IT area and the funny thing is that the longer people work in IT, the less they tend to use it in their private lifes. We have a below average usage rate of social networks for example.

My point being that modernization and tecnology do not seem to be the way to universal happiness.

Hopefully we will soon realize that!!! And then as real life communication would recover its value, we will hopefully start again to value the humanities and the related language studies and stop single-mindedly focusing on the natural sciences only.


Dear Sara,

Certainly the Welsh schools are very helpful in the area and a nice addition to the public school landscapes.

Welsh schools are private, so a tuition fee applies which limits the access to certain social classes. Who are willing and able to pay for private education due to a general unhappiness with public schools. Teachers in Argentina can go on strike and they regularly do so, so the kids miss a lot of classes. In private schools the teachers’ assistance is garantied!
Thus places in Welsh schools are running out fast. Especially, as there is no real other private school in the area. So if you want to go private, you go Welsh!
The picture of the BBC documentary is very romantic, but I think this is the real motivation for people.
There is no Christian private school in the area. And in my case the closest Welsh school would be 70 kilometres away.
My place was founded by the Welsh, but soon after their arrival the local indiginous population showed them the way to the fertile valley with access to sweet water where today you would find people of Welsh descent and the Welsh schools.

Hopefully at some point and before my so far unborn kids will need to attend school we will also have a Welsh school where I live.
Not because they are private, but because I would like them to learn to appreciate the history of their birthplace.



This is a lesson that the Welsh politicians need to learn. I remember in my very “English” area of North Wales when I was a school-boy - there was some funding available to build some new Welsh Schools; As they had modern and better facilities and teachers who were at least as good as the other schools, English people started applying to send their children to these schools - because that were better equipped and started out with are reputaion for quality teaching.

Most parents would like to send their children to the best schools if they can - SO MAKE THE WELSH SCHOOLS THE BEST - and the rest will follow naturally - and the next generation will speak Welsh.



I have heard similar success stories with Irish-language schools in Ireland – and, for that matter, Danish-language schools in northern Germany.

There is a Danish minority there but I have heard that increasingly, Germans also send their children to Danish schools as the quality of education is perceived to be of a high standard. (And that this occasionally causes problems when non-Danish-speaking parents struggle to understand what is being discussed at parent-teacher meetings. I believe that if you enrol your child as a non-speaker, you have to pledge to acquire at least a modicum of the language in a certain time period.)


I totally understand the thinking. My mam wanted ti turn me from a sow’s ear into a silk purse… a hopeless task… so sent me to the Convent school!! It didn’t work! But, while I was in the primary section they had to pay and she had a ‘costs more so must be better’ notion as well! (Very common).
I hate the idea that people who genuinely want their kids to learn, for example, through the medium of their people’s native language, are priced out of those schools!
I always hoped that no RC child couldn’t get into the grant aided Convent Grammar school because I was cluttering up the place, by then free of charge!

Hello Sibila,
I’m Welsh but non Welsh speaking and I’ve just joined the SSi course. I live in the south of Brazil, the city of Porto Alegre, so (relatively) close to you! I’m planning a trip within the next 2 or 3 years, to Patagonia on my motorbike and I hope to be able to have a basic conversation in Welsh by then. Paradoxically, I’m Welsh and I speak English and fluent Portuguese!

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Hello Sibila and everyone else,
I stumbled across this page of writing and have enjoyed all the comments and stories. I would like to share with you my exciting news. My husband and I have booked a holiday for next spring, flying to Buenos Aires and travelling to Patagonia to enjoy the Celtic festivities there.Visits to Port Madryn, Trelew, Gaiman, Trevelin, Esquel and more are included and it’s a dream to come true. My husband is brushing up on his forgotten Welsh and I have studied with SSIW and elsewhere for both Welsh and Spanish. We are both, long retired from working in Education, history is a favourite subject and we have read books and seen films about Y Wladfa.Having been born in Wales we are avid rugby fans and follow our National team. I know that a few years ago Welsh rugby players visited Patagonia and were able to speak to people in their ‘Hen iaith’. Both sides were pleased as well as amazed! I would dearly love to be able to emulate them.
It would be wonderful if by the use of technology, speaking across the oceans, writing as in penpals of yore
, the young people could become interested in speaking another language and discovering their roots no matter how far back they go. It is never too, late to learn, as I am discovering at my age, one should always keep an open mind. There is a proverb which states ‘To be able to speak another language is to live another life’.
Apologies for rambling on but talking is still part of me.


Newyddion gwych! I do hope you have a really inspiring time! Tell us about it when you get back!!

Hello Menna

how nice, that sounds like an exciting trip!!! I hope you will enjoy it a lot and find what you are looking for!

Will you be joining an organized trip with a tour group or will you be travelling on an individual basis?

I can only imagine your excitement. I did the trip the other way around to discover the roots of our adventourous founder, Love Jones Parry. and I was sent from one place to another following his footsteps by really welcoming and helpful local people and pretty fast the official story, the romantic picture of an idealistic Welshman who came to Patagonia in order to preserve the language turned into something a lot livelier. He turned into a real person, a human being with desires who had committed mistakes, needed to pay for them and had his weak sides. all of a sudden he wasn’t any more the knight in shining armor on the local pedestal, but rather a pirate style womanizer.

In the beginning that was a bit disappointing, but I have learned to make my peace with it. after all he is a historic person and not a caracter from a fairy tale.

Let me know if you need anything, if you have any doubts or questions…
Are you talking about your spring or our spring? Please keep in mind that our spring tends to be colder than the European spring. especially in the mornings and in the evenings. and houses tend not to have a proper heating system, they function, but their strength is not comparable with its European equivalents.
Usually, we get the first really nice days just 1 or 2 days before Christmas. Before it is nice, but still quite chilly.

I hope you enjoy the preparation of your trip and you will have a wonderful time.
If you have any doubts or question, don’t hesitate to ask.
I live in Puerto Madryn, the place where the Welsh first arrived. and I walk to that location every day.
We call it “la vuelta del perro”, as you are studying Spanish. It is a rather warm and kind expression though.
Referring to the fact that all dog owners take this famous stroll every day with their four legged friends.

un abrazo fuerte desde Y Wladfa


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Dear Alan,

yes, indeed relatively close, at least in comparision to the rest of the forum!!!

Patagonia is a great place for a motor cycle tour. I am sure you will have a lot of fun.

Don’t forget to visit Madryn. You can do great whale watching trips around here.

un abrazo


Sorry, if I was a little absent recently, but my Welsh dragon needed a blanket!!!.
With daffodils. I think he looks quite happy.

By the way, as we are always encouraged to do small talk in Welsh.
I know that I can say: Dwi’n likio gwneud rwybeth…
And I know how to say most of the things that I actually like to do
like e.g. coginio, mynd am dro, darllen, dysgu cymraeg, canu’r piano
But what is “Crochet” in Welsh?
or stitching/needlework the other craft that I really like to do.
Diolch for any suggestions.

But talking seriously, I was a little absent, because I was really busy at work.
but now quieter times are approaching again and I am looking forward to going back to my studies of the Welsh language.

Take care



I am totally hopeless at all those, so I had never needed to know! My ap geiriadur says crocket = crosio, stitching = pwytho needlework = gwnio, although the last two are fairly interchangeable, I think and also mean sewing!

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Diolch yn fawr iawn!!!

Shwmae Sibila, I have done some crochet work in my time, made a poncho for my daughter when she was young…sorry no photos…my mother was an expert made all sorts of things but I didn’t really have the patience.
Crosio is verb/noun…the noun is gwaith crosio …
gwnio is the noun for Needlework…verb/noun is gwaith gwnio.
Stitch noun is pwytho…plus there are so many types of stitch explained it is very interesting.
Hope this helps. You have made a beautiful blanket - I love the daffodils and dy ddraig goch must be cyfforddus iawn.
I will reply to your fantastic letter re. Patagonia very soon.
Dioch yn fawr iawn - You are Caredig iawn.