Greeks in Argentina

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Greeks in Argentina
Greece Argentina
Bartolomé Mitre.jpgAnacarsisLanus.JPG
Pablo Curatella Manes.jpgOnassis-1932.jpg
Bartolomé Mitre · Anacarsis Lanús · Pablo Curatella Manes · Aristotle Onassis
Total population
35,000 – 60,000
Regions with significant populations
Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, La Plata, Mar del Plata
Languages
Rioplatense Spanish, Greek
Religion
Christianity (mostly Greek Orthodox)

A Greek Argentine (Greek: Έλληνες Αργεντινοί) is an Argentine citizen of Greek descent or a Greece-born person who resides in Argentina. Despite not being as large as other European communities, the Greeks have contributed a lot to their new country. They number between 35,000 and 60,000 people.[citation needed] The first immigrants arrived at the end of the 18th century, while the bulk of immigration occurred during the first half of the 20th century.

History[edit]

Rear Admiral Giorgos "Jorge" Kolmaniatis, who arrived in the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in 1811, strongly contributed in the Argentine War of Independence by leading and training the newly formed fleet. A fellow naval officer from Hydra, Samuel Spiro, scuttled his ship in the Uruguay River rather than surrender it to the Spanish Armada. Both men's names were honored with Argentine Navy ships christened after them in 1937.[1]

The second wave of Greeks arriving in Argentina came in the 20th century, mainly after the Asia Minor Campaign and the disaster in 1922, with the end of the Megali Idea. Again huge masses of refugees who were sent to Greece by the population exchange agreement between Kemal Ataturk and Eleftherios Venizelos, came towards these latitudes seeking for a change to restart their lives from zero. Most of them were from Smyrna, Ayvalik and other Ionian cities.[2] They settled in what is today known as the capital of foreign immigration in Argentina, the city of Berisso, near La Plata.

The third wave, taking part in the early 30s instead was the first one with a strong concentration of immigrants coming form the mainland, mostly villagers and peasants from Arcadia, Laconia and Messenia in the Peloponnese.[3] The choosing of Argentina as a destination was due the temporary denial for immigration in the United States, making South America and Argentina in particular the new Eldorado.[4]

The majority chose Buenos Aires as their place to stay, but others instead made their way far in the interior such as Córdoba and Mendoza.[citation needed] Port cities like Rosario and Necochea are -of course- also places where Hellenic immigrants established.[citation needed]

Notable Greek Argentines[edit]

Equestrian statue of Bartolomé Mitre, Buenos Aires

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Historical Dictionary of Argentina. Scarecrow Press, 1937.
  2. ^ http://www.calir.org.ar
  3. ^ Kostas Ath. Sarantopoulos "Βαλτέτσι 1944 – Μαρτυρία (Valtetsi 1944 - Martyrdom)", Armos Editors, Athens 2003,
  4. ^ Tzavaras, Ath.: "Agapite Aderfe Vasileie", Ekdosis Exantas, Athens 1999

External links[edit]