The spaniards, historical bonds and a strong presence

Nicknamed “Galician”, Spaniards were the second immigrant community.

Don Celestino Curutchet & Dona Artcanthurry, 1912, Café Tortoni
																															

Spain is the second country of origin of Argentine people and the first one, historically speaking. The Spaniards were those that conquered the territory that today makes up the Argentine Republic but in the times of the 1810 May Revolution, only 1% of the population was Spanish. The majority ethnic group was black people. However, Spanish legacy was immense: the language, the Catholic religion and the political-administrative organization.

In the second half of the 19th century, poverty boosted many Spaniards to migrate. The majority were Galician, what explains that today in Argentina anyone from Spanish origin is called Galician.The others came especially from Andalucía, the Vasco-Country Country and Cataluña.

Gaucho
																  															  

This immigration lasted up to the 1950s and, as from 1939 there were many refugees running away from Franco’s victory. This immigration was more intellectual but compromised politically and it created the publishing houses, etc. From 1857 through 1940, more than two million Spaniards arrived in Argentina and represented one third of the aliens. In 1914, 830,000 Spaniards represented 10% of the population.

As most immigrants, they founded social clubs, newspapers and associations for mutual help to the community, the first one in 1857: Spanish Association of Mutual Help. They settled down in different provinces and activities, according to their region of origin: the Galician in the cities where they could get jobs as waiters or small businessmen or craftsmen; the Valencian in Corrientes and Misiones; the Andalucian in Buenos Aires and Mendoza where they grew olives and grapes; the Vasco devoted to cattle-raising and milk industry in La Pampa, etc.

Immigration from the Basque Country
																  															  

The bond with the Spanish culture, for obvious historic reasons, has been strongly preserved: it has existed since the 16th century. Almost half of the Vasco Houses are in Argentina and Buenos Aires founder was Vasco too: Juan de Garay. In the last years, diplomatic relationships between Argentina and Spain have been consolidated and the Spaniards are the main foreign investors of the country.

TO READ:
– Center for Latin American Monetary Studies