Every September 4, Immigrant Day is commemorated in our country. Although it is a date that was instituted in 1949 during the first presidency of Juan Domingo Perón , its origins date back to the First Triumvirate.
In 1812, at the dawn of the Homeland, the body composed of Manuel de Sarratea, Feliciano Chiclana and Juan Martín de Pueyrredón — who joined the Triumvirate after Juan José Paso's departure — founded the Immigration Commission .
The aim of this was to promote immigration and colonization of the then territory of the United Provinces of the Rio de La Plata, guaranteeing “their immediate protection to individuals from all nations and their families who wish to establish their domicile in the territory”, something that in 1853 would be embodied in the National Constitution.
However, the independence wars truncated the functioning of the commission, which was reactivated in 1824 by Bernardino Rivadavia and again paralysed, by order of Juan Manuel de Rosas, in 1830.
However, the dissolution of the Immigration Commission did not shut down the spirit of receiving “all the men in the world who want to inhabit the Argentine soil,” so at every moment in history the country received — and continues to receive — ndash; foreigners who choose Argentina as their new land.
The so-called Home Law , enacted in 1888, promoted the settling of immigrants in the national territory, accompanied by publications in foreign media about promoting land occupation, especially in Patagonia following the so-called Desert Campaign.
Crucible of breeds
Perhaps the expression sounds trite, but its repetition does not lose value. Throughout the country, immigrants from all over the world came to Argentina in search of work, new dreams, peace, to practice their faith or different avatars of life that forced them to leave their land.
Beyond the mass arrival of Europeans who landed in our country in the first decades of the 20th century fleeing the First World War, Argentina's rich history and how it was populated has interesting stories that until today keep alive the culture of those who in this corner of the world found a new home to feel in their land, but sheltered by the celestial and white flag.
The installation of Welsh settlers in Patagonia is one of the clearest examples of the spirit of the creation of the Immigration Commission in 1812. Almost 53 years later, on July 28, on board the sailboat “Mimosa”, they arrived on the coast of what is now known as Puerto Madryn , in order to continue practicing their faith and your language.
The early years were not easy, but the Welsh pioneers managed to settle, consolidate and populate that initially hostile territory. At the beginning of the 20th century, already installed not only on the coast of today's Chubut province, but in the mountain range, they decided through a plebiscite their affiliation and loyalty to the Argentine flag, in the midst of a conflict with Chile over the land dispute.
In Chubutan territory in the first decade of the 1900s came to Chubut , South African immigrants who, after being defeated by the British Empire, decided to leave the country. About 600 people arrived in that province between 1902 and 1908, and by the 1950s, after years of having little relationship with the rest of the community, they began to relate more with those who lived in the province.
In Rio Negro, Colonia Suiza , located near San Carlos de Bariloche , is another example of how from the old continent they managed to settle down and continue their tradition.n on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. At the end of the 19th century, the Goye brothers were the first to settle in the mountain range.
Then other families arrived, built their houses, the chapel and the first school. They dedicated themselves to livestock and marketing their products in Chile, and today their descendants continue to honor the pioneers.
And just as we visit a city or a province we can continue to find a story that brings with it dreams, uprooting and hope for a better future. From the old continent or from neighbouring countries: Argentina continues to build itself on those who seek a prosperous future, in communion with those who were born in this country.
And just as we find immigrants in every corner of Argentina, we also find an excuse to celebrate immigration or colonization. It happens in — to mention just a few places — Oberá , Misiones ; in San José, Entre Ríos ; in Berisso , province of Buenos Aires; in Comodoro Rivadavia , Chubut; periodically in Buenos Aires City Aires — at least before the coronavirus arrived — in short, immigration is being honoured throughout the country.
Because, without those who dared to dream of a better future and launch into the unknown, today we would not be Argentina.
Happy Immigrant Day!
Licenciado en Comunicación Social. Nacido y criado en Chubut, actualmente alejado del pago. Siempre que puedo, hablo de la Patagonia. Tengo buena memoria –para cosas bastante intrascendentes, pero buena memoria en fin–. Le meto ganas a lo que hago, porque sin pasión no vale la pena.