A high level delegation from the House of Commons has visited Argentina in anticipation of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Welsh in Patagonia.
The delegation from the Committee of Welsh Affairs was headed by David Davies, MP for Monmouth, Wales.
The delegation held an important meeting with the Governor of the Province of Chubut Martin Buzzi who said: “It is an enormous pleasure to receive this mission of Welsh and British parliamentarians as the commemoration of the Welsh arrival 150 years ago approaches.”
Nia Griffiths, an MP for Wales said: “I am happy to be in Patagonia and especially for five days in Chubut and have visited Trevelin, Esquel, Trelew, Rawson, Dolavon and Gaiman.”
The delegation held many discussions with the local Welsh community and local authorities to explore how Britain can assist to make the 150th anniversary celebrations an epic moment.
The parliamentarians also visited the bilingual Welsh Spanish school of Gaiman and participated in cultural events.
The £50,000 cost of the six-day visit (plus two days’ travelling) is coming from a fund used for select committee travel. The Monmouth MP told the BBC: “The money couldn’t have been used for anything other than select committee travel and I think there’ll be many people in Wales who will be
pleased that we recognise the Welsh language in Patagonia, which is still going strong after 150 years.”
The delegation also visited the Argentinian Congress in Buenos Aires the President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Guillermo Carmona met with them and at the end of the meeting gave them a copy of the Declaration n of Ushuaia, which reaffirms the Argentinian sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
By Andres Bande