March 03, 2020 16 min read

History of Patagonia, Wales and the Welsh

Where is Patagonia?

Patagonia is a distinct geographical region of South America, an area of land in both the southern parts of Argentina and Chile. In Chile, it starts in the Araucanía region extending to the very southern tip of the country. On the Argentine side, it begins in the province of Rio Negro and carries on all the way to Tierra Del Fuego.

The southern tip of South America is also the closest landmass to Antarctica (New Zealand is the second closest), so it's a popular starting point for Antarctic voyages and cruises.

How large is Patagonia?

The Patagonia region represents a large proportion of the land mass of both Argentina and Chile; it is approximately 300,000 square miles (750,000 square kilometres) of Argentina, which is about a third the country, and another 130,000 square miles (325,000 square kilometres) or nearly half, of Chile.

What is the Population of Patagonia?

Many regions within Patagonia are sparsely populated. The total population of Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile is about 2 million in total, with the large majority living in Argentina.

Why did welsh go to Patagonia?

In the early 1800’s, like in other parts of the United Kingdom, the industrial revolution began and developed helping to fuel the supply of coal, slate, iron and steel. Within the Welsh heart lands rural communities began to disappear. Many believed that Wales was now gradually becoming a region of England, and perhaps disillusioned with this prospect, or maybe excited by the thought of a new start in a new world, many Welshmen and women decided to seek their fortune in other countries.

Welsh immigrants had attempted to set up Welsh speaking colonies in order to retain their cultural identity in America. The most successful of these included ‘Welsh’ towns such as Utica in New York State and Scranton in Pennsylvania.

However, these Welsh immigrants were always under great pressure to learn the English language and adopt the ways of the emerging American industrial culture. As such, it did not take too long for these new immigrants to be fully assimilated into the American way of life.

In 1861 Michael Jones and a group of men held a meeting at his home in Bala in north Wales discussed the possibility of founding a new Welsh promised land in a different part of the world to the USA.  Vancouver Island in Canada was one option but an alternative location in Patagonia, Argentina seemed to have everything needed for a new colony in a new world.

Who was Michael D Jones? (1822 -1898)

The idea of a Welsh colony in South America was put forward by Professor the Reverend Michael D. Jones. Jones was a Welsh nationalist nonconformist minister from Bala, Gwynedd, who had called for a new "little Wales beyond Wales". He spent some years in the United States, where he observed that Welsh immigrants assimilated very quickly compared with other peoples and often lost much of their Welsh identity. He proposed setting up a Welsh speaking colony away from the influence of the English Language. He recruited settlers and provided financing; Australia, New Zealand and even Palestine and even were considered, but Patagonia was chosen for its isolation and the Argentines' offer of 100 square miles (260 square kilometres) of land along the Chubut River in exchange for settling the still-unconquered land of Patagonia for Argentina. Jones had been corresponding with the Argentinean government about settling an area known as Bahia Blanca where Welsh immigrants could preserve their language and culture. The Argentinean government granted the request as it put them in control of a large tract of land. A Welsh immigration committee met in Liverpool and published a handbook, Llawlyfr y Wladfa, to publicise the scheme to form a Welsh colony in Patagonia which was distributed throughout Wales.

Towards the end of 1862, Captain Love Jones-Parry and Lewis Jones (after whom Trelew was named) left for Patagonia to decide whether it was a suitable area for Welsh emigrants. They first visited Buenos Aires where they held discussions with the Interior Minister Guillermo Rawson then, having come to an agreement, headed south. They reached Patagonia in a small ship named the Candelaria and were driven by a storm into a bay which they named Porth Madryn after Jones-Parry's estate in Wales. The town which grew near the spot where they landed is now named Puerto Madryn. On their return to Wales they declared the area to be very suitable for colonisation.

The Ship Mimosa

The Mimosa was built in 1853 at Hall's shipyard in Aberdeen. Already past her prime in 1865, she was converted from a freight ship to carrying passengers for the trip to Patagonia. The cost of fitting provisioning and chartering the ship was £2,500 and the passengers paid £12 per adult or £6 per child for the journey. The emigrants assembled in various points in Wales and nearby in England, for example in Aberdare, Mountain Ash and Birkenhead near Liverpool.

TheMimosa set sail from Liverpool, England on 28th May 1865 to Patagonia, South America with about 153 passengers onboard. The Captain was aman named George Pepperell and he had a crew of 18. The Mimosa emigrants, including tailors, cobblers, carpenters, bricklayers and miners, comprised 56 married adults, 33 single or widowed men, 12 single women (usually sisters or servants of married immigrants), and 52 children; the majority (92) were from the South Wales Coalfield and English urban centres. 

Thomas Greene, an Irishman from Kildaire, had been appointed as ship's surgeon. They arrived in Patagonia on 28th July 1865 and they named the landing site, Porth Madryn. Edwyn Cynrig Roberts and Lewis Jones had already arrived in Patagonia earlier in June 1865 to prepare for the arrival of the main body of settlers. Their aim to establish a Welsh colony which would preserve the Welsh language and culture was about to begin.

 

1865 – The First Settlers

Name

Assembly point

Given age

Note

Austin, Thomas

Mountain Ash

17

Austin, William

Mountain Ash

18

Davies, Evan

Aberdare

25

Davies, Ann

Aberdare

24

wife of Evan Davies

Davies, Margaret Ann

Aberdare

1

daughter of Evan & Ann Davies

Davies, James (Iago Dafydd)

Brynmawr

18

Davies, John (Ioan Dafydd)

Mountain Ash

18

llanrwst

11

Davies, Rachel

Aberystwyth

28

wife of Lewis Davies

Davies, Thomas G.

Aberystwyth

3

son of Rachel and Lewis Davies

Davies, Robert

Llandrillo

40

Davies, Catherine

Llandrillo

38

wife of Robert Davies

Davies, William

Llandrillo

8

son of Robert & Catherine Davies

Davies, Henry

Llandrillo

7

son of Robert & Catherine Davies

Davies, John

Llandrillo

1

son of Robert & Catherine Davies, died on board

Davies, John E.

Mountain Ash

30

Davies, Selia

Mountain Ash

26

wife of John E. Davies

Davies, John

Mountain Ash

infant

son of John E. & Selia Davies

Davies, Thomas

Aberdare

40

Davies, Eleanor

Aberdare

38

(second) wife of Thomas Davies

Davies, David

Aberdare

18

son of Thomas Davies (1st marriage)

Davies, Hannah

Aberdare

16

daughter of Thomas Davies (1st marriage)

Davies, Elizabeth

Aberdare

11

daughter of Thomas Davies (1st marriage)

Davies, Ann

Aberdare

7

daughter of Thomas Davies (1st marriage)

Davies, William

Liverpool, England

36

Ellis, John

Liverpool, England

38

Ellis, Thomas

Liverpool, England

36

Ellis, Richard

Llanfechain, Llanfyllin

27

Ellis, Frances

Llanfechain, Llanfyllin

27

Evans, Daniel

Mountain Ash

27

Evans, Mary

Mountain Ash

23

wife of Daniel Evans

Evans, Elizabeth

Mountain Ash

5

daughter of Daniel & Mary Evans

Evans, John Daniel

Mountain Ash

3

son of Daniel & Mary Evans

Evans, Thomas Pennant (Twmi Dimol)

Manchester, England

29

crew

Greene, Dr. Thomas William Nassau

Liverpool, England

21

crew (ships' doctor)

Harris, Thomas

Mountain Ash

31

Harris, Sara

Mountain Ash

31

wife of Thomas Harris

Harris, William

Mountain Ash

11

son of Thomas & Sara Harris

Harris, John

Mountain Ash

6

son of Thomas & Sara Harris

Harris, Thomas

Mountain Ash

5

son of Thomas & Sara Harris

Harris, Daniel

Mountain Ash

infant

son of Thomas & Sara Harris

Hughes, Catherine

Birkenhead, England

24

Hughes, Griffith

Rhosllannerchrugog

36

Hughes, Mary

Rhosllannerchrugog

36

wife of Griffith Hughes

Hughes, Jane

Rhosllannerchrugog

11

daughter of Griffith & Mary Hughes

Hughes, Griffith

Rhosllannerchrugog

9

son of Griffith & Mary Hughes

Hughes, David

Rhosllannerchrugog

6

son of Griffith & Mary Hughes

Hughes, John

Rhosllannerchrugog

30

Hughes, Elizabeth

Rhosllannerchrugog

39

wife of John Hughes

Hughes, William John

Rhosllannerchrugog

10

son of John & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, Myfanwy Mary

Rhosllannerchrugog

4

son of John & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, John Samuel

Rhosllannerchrugog

2

son of John & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, Henry

Rhosllannerchrugog

1

son of John & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes (Cadfan), Hugh J.

Liverpool, England

41

Hughes, Elizabeth

Liverpool, England

40

wife of Hugh Hughes

Hughes, Jane

Liverpool, England

20

daughter of Hugh & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, David

Liverpool, England

6

son of Hugh & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, Llewelyn

Liverpool, England

4

son of Hugh & Elizabeth Hughes

Hughes, Richard

Caernarfon

20

Hughes, William

Anglesey

32

Hughes, Jane

Anglesey

32

wife of William Hughes

Hughes, Jane

Anglesey

infant

daughter of William & Jane Hughes

Hughes, William

Abergynolwyn

33

widower, married Ann Lewis on board

Humphreys, Morris

Ganllwyd, Dolgellau

27

Humphreys, Elizabeth Harriet

Ganllwyd, Dolgellau

21

wife of Maurice Humphreys

Humphreys, Lewis

Ganllwyd, Dolgellau

27

Humphreys, John

Ganllwyd, Dolgellau

22

Huws, Rhydderch

Manchester, England

33

Huws, Sara

Manchester, England

37

wife of Rhydderch Huws

Huws, Meurig

Manchester, England

4

son of Rhydderch & Sara Huws

Jenkins, Aaron

Mountain Ash

35

Jenkins, Rachel

Mountain Ash

32

née Evans

Jenkins, James

Mountain Ash

2

son of Aaron & Rachel Jenkins, died on board

Jenkins, Richard

Mountain Ash

1

son of Aaron & Rachel Jenkins

Jenkins, Rachel

 

 

daughter of Aaron & Rachel Jenkins, born on board

Jenkins, Thomas

Mountain Ash

23

Jenkins, William

Mountain Ash

18

John, David

Mountain Ash

31

John, Mary Ann

Aberdare

24

Jones, Evan

Aberdare

19

son of Eleanor Davies (1st marriage)

Jones, Thomas

Aberdare

15

son of Eleanor Davies (1st marriage)

Jones, David

Aberdare

13

son of Eleanor Davies (1st marriage)

Jones, Elizabeth

Aberdare

12

daughter of Eleanor Davies (1st marriage)

Jones, Elizabeth

Mountain Ash

 

Jones, Anne

Bethesda

23

Jones, George

Liverpool, England

16

Jones, David

Liverpool, England

18

Jones, James

Mountain Ash

27

Jones, Sarah

Mountain Ash

24

wife of James Jones

Jones, Mary Anne

Mountain Ash

3

daughter of James & Sarah Jones

Jones, James

Mountain Ash

1

son of James & Sarah Jones

Jones, John

Mountain Ash

61

Jones, Elizabeth

Mountain Ash

53

Jones, Richard (Berwyn)

New York, United States

27

crew (purser)

Jones, Richard

Mountain Ash

21

son of John & Elizabeth Jones

Jones, Ann

Mountain Ash

18

daughter of John & Elizabeth Jones

Jones, Margaret

Mountain Ash

14

daughter of John & Elizabeth Jones

Jones, John (jnr)

Mountain Ash

28

Jones, Mary

Mountain Ash

27

née Morgan, wife of John Jones (jnr)

Jones, Morgan

 

 

son of John & Mary Jones, born on board Mimosa

Jones, Thomas Harries

Mountain Ash

16

Jones, Joseph Seth

Denbigh

20

Jones, Joshua

Cwmaman, Aberdare

22

Lewis Jones

Liverpool, England

28

advance party

Jones, Ellen

Liverpool, England

25

wife of Lewis Jones, advance party

Jones, Mary

Mountain Ash

22

Jones, Stephen

Caernarfon

18

Jones (Bedol), William R.

Bala

31

Jones, Catherine

Bala

31

wife of William R. Jones

Jones, Mary Ann

Bala

4

daughter of William R. & Catherine Jones

Jones, Jane

Bala

1

daughter of William R. & Catherine Jones

Lewis, Anne

Abergynolwyn

35

née Pugh, widow, married William Hughes on board

Lewis, Mary

Mountain Ash

 

Matthews, Abraham

Aberdare

32

Matthews, Gwenllian

Aberdare

23

wife of Abraham Matthews

Matthews, Mary Annie

Aberdare

1

Morgan, John

Pen-y-Garn, Aberystwyth

29

Nagle, Robert

Birkenhead, England,

22

crew (passenger steward)

Owen, Ann

Liverpool, England

Price, Edward

Liverpool, England

41

Price, Martha

Liverpool, England

38

wife of Edward Price

Price, Edward

Liverpool, England

16

son of Edward & Martha Price

Price, Martha

Liverpool, England

2

daughter of Edward & Martha Price

Price, Griffith

Ffestiniog

27

Pritchard, Elizabeth

Holyhead

20

Rhys, James Berry

Ffestiniog

23

Rhys, William Thomas

Trevethin

25

Richards, William

Mountain Ash

19

Roberts, Edwyn Cynrig

Nannerch & Wigan, England

27

advance party

Roberts, Elizabeth

Bangor, Wales

19

Roberts, Grace

Bethesda

25

Roberts, John Moelwyn

Ffestiniog

20

Roberts, John,

Ffestiniog

27

Roberts, Mary

Ffestiniog

27

wife of John Roberts

Roberts, Mary

Ffestiniog

daughter of John & Mary Roberts

Roberts, Thomas

Ffestiniog

2

son of John & Mary Roberts

Roberts, John

Ffestiniog

infant

son of John & Mary Roberts

Roberts, William

Seacombe, Liverpool, England

17

Solomon, Griffith

Ffestiniog

23

Solomon, Elizabeth

Ffestiniog

30

wife of Griffith Solomon

Solomon, Elizabeth

Ffestiniog

1

daughter of Griffith & Elizabeth Solomon, died on board

Thomas, John Murray

Bridgend, Wales

17

Thomas, Robert

Bangor, Wales

29

Thomas, Mary

Bangor, Wales

30

wife of Robert Thomas

Thomas, Mary

Bangor, Wales

5

daughter of Robert & Mary Thomas

Thomas, Catherine Jane

Bangor, Wales

2

daughter of Robert & Mary Thomas, died on board

Thomas, Thomas

Mountain Ash

26

Williams, Amos

Bangor, Wales

25

crew (passenger cook)

Williams, Eleanor

Bangor, Wales

24

wife of Amos Williams

Williams, Elizabeth

Bangor, Wales

daughter of Amos & Eleanor Williams

Williams, Dafydd

Aberystwyth

 

Williams, Jane

Liverpool, England

24

Williams, John

Birkenhead, England

36

Williams, Elizabeth

Birkenhead, England

31

wife of John Williams

Williams, John

Birkenhead, England

4

son of John & Elizabeth Williams

Williams, Elizabeth

Birkenhead, England

2

daughter of John & Elizabeth Williams

Williams, Watkin W. Pritchard

Birkenhead, England

33

Williams, Elizabeth Louisa

Birkenhead, England

30

Williams, Watkin Wesley

Birkenhead, England

27

Williams, Catherine

Birkenhead, England

Williams, Robert Meirion

Llanfairfechan

51

Williams, Richard Howell

Llanfairfechan

18

son of Robert Meirion Williams

Williams, Thomas

Mountain Ash

60

Williams, Mary,

Mountain Ash

55

Williams, William

Liverpool, England

20

Wood, Elizabeth

Liverpool, England

11

 

The First Settlers – Early Years

There were few farmers amongst the first settlers, which was rather unfortunate particularly as they discovered that the landing area was not what they were expecting. They had been expecting the land to be similar to the lowland farming areas of Wales but it was more akin to a dry, dusty semi-desert landscape. At the landing area, there was also little drinking water. It was a barren and inhospitable windswept country, with no water, very little food and no forests to provide building materials for shelter. Some of the settlers’ first homes were dug out from the soft rock of the cliffs in the bay.

The settlers were forced to walk across the dry plains with only a single wheelbarrow to carry their belongings. Some died and a baby, Mary Humphries, was born on the march and with hindsight, the settlers wished they had a qualified doctor with them as only a John Williams had any basic medical skills. Some settlers were so disheartened with what they saw, they requested that the British Government settle them on the Falkland Islands but this request was ignored.

The settlers were expecting to establish their colony in the Chubut River valley. On 15 September 1865 the first town in the Chubut colony was named Rawson, and the settlers went on to build the settlements at Gaiman and Trelew. After arriving at the Chubut River valley, their first settlement was a small fortress on the site which was subsequently named Rawson.  This settlement was referred to as Yr Hen Amddiffynfa ('The Old Fortress'). Initially, the first houses which werebuilt from earth, were destroyed in flash floods in 1865, as were crops of potatoes and maize. Despite the flash floods, generally the rainfall in the area was much less than the colonists had been led to expect, leading to crop failures.

The local people in the are were called the Tehuelche but it was almost a year after their arrival that the settlers first made contact them. After some difficult early years of suspicion and some violence, the Tehuelche people established cordial relationships with the Welsh and helped the settlement survive the early food shortages. The settlers, led by Aaron Jenkins (whose wife Rachel was the first to bring up the idea of systematic use of irrigation canals), soon established Argentina's first irrigation system based on the Chubut River (in Welsh, Afon Camwy, 'winding river'), irrigating an area three or four miles (five or six km) to each side of the 50-mile (80 km) long stretch of river and creating Argentina's most fertile wheat lands. However, after receiving several mercy missions of supplies, the settlers persevered and finally struggled on to reach the proposed site for the colony in the Chubut valley about 40 miles away. It was here, where a river the settlers named Camwy cuts a narrow channel through the desert from the nearby Andes, that the first permanent settlement of Rawson was established at the end of 1865.

The mouth of the Chubut River was difficult to navigate, being shallow and with shifting sandbanks, and it was decided that a railway was required to connect the Lower Chubut valley to Puerto Madryn (originally Porth Madryn) on the Golfo Nuevo on the southern side of the Valdes Peninsula. Lewis Jones was the driving force, and in 1884 the Argentine Congress authorised the construction of the Central Chubut Railway by Lewis Jones y Cía. Raising funds for the project locally proved difficult, so Lewis Jones went to the United Kingdom to seek funds, where he enlisted the assistance of Asahel P. Bell, an engineer. Work on the railway began in 1886, helped by the arrival of another 465 Welsh settlers on the steamer Vesta. The town which grew at the railhead was named Trelew (Town of Llew) in honour of Lewis Jones. The town grew rapidly and in 1888 became the headquarters of the Compañía Mercantil del Chubut (Chubut Trading Company). Initially the settlers were largely self-governing, with all men and women of 18 years of age or over having the right to vote

In the early years after arriving in Patagonia, the colony suffered with floods, poor harvests and disagreements over the ownership of land. The settlers learned quickly and it was a Rachel Jenkins who had the idea that changed the fortunes of the colony and secured its future. Rachel had noticed that when the River Camwy flooded, it transformed the adjacent the arid lands into lush pasture. The settlers than built irrigation channels that saved the Chubut valley and its Welsh settlers.

New Settlers to the Region

In the years following 1865, many new settlers arrived in Patagonia from both Wales and the failing Welsh communities of Pennsylvania in the USA. By the end of 1874 the settlers numbered over 270. These new arrivals brought new vigour and enthusiasm and new irrigation channels were dug along the length of the Chubut valley. Steadily interlinked groups of farms began to emerge along a thin strip of land on either side of the River Camwy.

Following a decision by the Argentine government in 1875, the Welsh settlers were granted official title to the land. This was encouraging news and it brought new settlers to the colony. More than 500 people arrived from Wales, including many from the south Wales coalfields which were undergoing a severe depression at that time. These new enthusiastic settlers meant that plans for an improved irrigation system in the Lower Chubut valley could begin.

By the mid-1880s most of the fertile agricultural land in the Lower Chubut valley had been claimed, and the settlers mounted several expeditions to explore other parts of Patagonia to seek more cultivable land. In 1885 the Welsh asked the governor of Chubut Province, Luis Jorge Fontana, for permission to arrange an expedition to explore the Andean part of Chubut. Fontana decided to accompany the expedition in person. By the end of November 1885, they had reached a fertile area which the Welsh named Cwm Hyfryd (Pleasant Valley). By 1888, this site at the foot of the Andes had become another Welsh settlement, named in Spanish Colonia 16 de Octubre. As the population grew here, the towns of Esquel and Trevelin were founded.

This area became the subject of the Cordillera of the Andes Boundary case 1902 between Argentina and Chile. Initially the border was defined by a line connecting the highest peaks in the area, but it later became clear that this line was not the same as the line separating the watersheds, with some of the rivers in the area flowing westwards. Argentina and Chile agreed that the United Kingdom should act as arbitrator, and the views of the Welsh settlers were canvassed. In 1902, despite an offer of a league of land per family from Chile, they voted to remain in Argentina.

By the end of the 19th century there were some 4,000 people of Welsh descent living in Chubut. The last substantial migration from Wales took place shortly before World War I, which put a halt to further immigration. Approximately 1,000 Welsh immigrants arrived in Patagonia between 1886 and 1911; on the basis of this and other statistics, it is estimated that perhaps no more than 2,300 Welsh people ever migrated directly to Patagonia.

The turn of the century also brought a change in attitude by the Argentine government who wished to impose direct rule on the colony. This move and an increasing influence of the Spanish language brought the speaking of Welsh at local government level and in the schools to an abrupt end. It seemed like the dreams of Michael D Jones and the other founders was disintegrating.

As problems in Wales increased and especially with the depression in the south Wales coalfields, there were further significant migrations from Wales during the periods 1880-87 and 1904-12. The settlers had seemingly achieved many of their original aims - Welsh speaking schools and chapels and the language of local government was Welsh.

By the end of the 19th century and in less than forty years, the settlers had, with great skill and determination, transformed the inhospitable scrub-filled semi-dessert into one of the most fertile and productive agricultural areas in the whole of Argentina. They had also created a new settlement area in the foothills of the Andes known as Cwm Hyfryd. However, these new fertile lands now attracted other nationalities to settle in the Chubut area and new non-Welsh immigrants began to erode the Welsh identity they had created. By 1915 the population of the Chubut province had grown to around 20,000, with approximately half of these being foreign non-Welsh immigrants.

Other countries people began to migrate to the area in increasing numbers after 1914, especially from Italy and other southern European countries. After this Welsh became a minority language and the Welsh influence on the region began to decline. However, there is still Welsh identity in the region to be seen today with windmills and chapels across the province, including the distinctive wood and corrugated zinc Capel Salem and Trelew’s Salon San David. Many settlements along the valley bear Welsh names. The 150th anniversary of the sailing of the Mimosa was celebrated in Wales and throughout the region. This has brought new focus on the deeds of the original settlers and their Utopian aims and in a mark of respect, Wales' First Minster Carwyn Jones attended those celebrations.

Welsh Language in Patagonia

The Welsh language spoken in the province of Chubut, Patagonia is a dialect of the Welsh Language spoken throughout Wales and strongly influenced by the local Spanish language. It is different from the several dialects used in Wales itself but speakers from Wales and Patagonia are able to communicate readily.

There is an increasing prestige in being to speak Welsh and teachers from  Wales are sent to train local tutors in the Welsh language. Funding for these projects is provided by the Welsh Government, the British Council and Cardiff University and the Welsh–Argentine Association. Today there were over 50 such Welsh classes in the area and Welsh is now taught as a subject in two primary schools and two colleges in the region of Gaiman. A bilingual Welsh–Spanish language school, named Ysgol yr Hendre, has been established in Trelew and there is a college in Esquel. Another Welsh tradition has been recently revived with the establishment and promotion of local Eisteddfod poetry competitions, although they are now bilingual in Welsh and Spanish.

Welsh people first arrived in Patagonia in 1865. They believed that they could protect their Welsh culture and language, which they considered to be threatened in Wales. However, as the years passed, the use of the language started to decrease and there was relatively little contact between the country of Wales and Welsh settlement, Yr Wladfa, of the Chubut Valley. However, many Welsh people visited the region in 1965 to celebrate the colony's centenary. They visited to learn more about the famous journey of the Mimosa and the history of the first settlers and since then the number of Welsh visitors increased.

Each year there is still a steady stream of people from Patagonia arriving in London airports. Many of these visitors know little or no English but once they have travelled along the M4 motorway and crossed the border into Wales, they find that they can communicate fluently with the locals. Many come to visit the National Eisteddfod and immerse themselves in Welsh language and culture at its best. 

Whilst the Spanish language has become the predominant language in many respects, Welsh has remained the language of the home and of the chapel and survives celebrating its heritage at one of the many eisteddfodau.


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