Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz
|City and provincial capital|
|Founded||19 December 1885|
|Founded by||Ramon Lista|
|Elevation||20 m (66 ft)|
|Time zone||ART (UTC−3)|
|Dialing code||+54 2966|
Río Gallegos (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o ɣaˈʃeɣos]) is the capital and largest settlement of the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz in Argentina. Located in the department of Guer Aike, it has a population of about 98,000, according to the 2010 census [INDEC], a 24% increase from the 79,000 in the 2001 census [INDEC]. The city bears the name of the Gallegos River, and sits on its estuary 2,636 km (1,638 mi) south from the Argentinian federal capital Buenos Aires.
Established on 19 December 1885 to increase Argentine power over southern Patagonia, Río Gallegos became the capital of the then Territory of Santa Cruz in 1888, retaining its status when the territory became a province in 1957. Nestor Kirchner, later President of Argentina, served as the city's mayor from 1987 to 1991 and is interred in a mausoleum in the city's cemetery.
In 1525 Spanish explorer García Jofre de Loaísa became the first European to reach the Gallegos River, and named it Río San Idelfonso. Simón de Alcazaba y Sotomayor's 1535 expedition was the first to name the river "Río Gallegos". The area was not settled by Europeans until much later, with the settlement established 19 December 1885, when the Argentine government wished to better express its sovereignty over southern Patagonia — a naval base was created which increased the development of the town. Between 1912 and 1920, the government encouraged settlers from the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas) and southern Chile with preferential farming conditions. Some 3,000 arrived and boosted the town. As sheep-farming increased, Río Gallegos became the principal port for exporting sheep and their products. The Pioneers Museum is a preserved old Patagonian house exhibiting the life of the early settlers.
Governor Ramón Lista decided to move the Territorial Capital from Puerto Santa Cruz to Río Gallegos in 1888; official ratification of this decision came on 19 May 1904. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Luján was consecrated in 1900. The Territory of Santa Cruz was declared a Province in 1957, with Mario Cástulo Paradelo as its first Governor.
Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007, was mayor of Río Gallegos between 1987 and 1991. His mausoleum is in the city and a street bears his name.
Today, Río Gallegos is an important city of the Argentine far south, with military bases and an international airport. Flights between Chile and Mount Pleasant airbase on the Falkland Islands stop at Río Gallegos once a month.
The city of Rio Gallegos has one of the greatest riches of animals, both inside and on its outskirts. Birds in the area include the thrush, guanaco, rhea, chingolo, Chilean flamingo, upland goose and black-necked swan. Grey foxes are predators on the sheep ranched in the city.
On the outskirts of Rio Gallegos there is a wide variety of native plants, including calafates, anartrofilos, oxalis, violets and pansies, paper flowers, calceolarias, hipoqueris, leucerias, perezias, senecios, mata arrears, senecio miser, amancay, lilies, lily of the field.
Rio Gallegos' main association football club is Boca Rio Gallegos of the Torneo Argentino B, the fourth tier of Argentine football. Founded 12 October 1945 by meat factory workers, the side share their crest and kit with Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires, Argentina's most successful club, and have played in the national league system since 1988. 
Rio Gallegos has a cold semi-arid climate (BSk, under the Köppen climate classification). The climate is dry, windy and cold, with snow during the winter. It is one of the windiest cities on earth, with winds above 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph) being commonplace, and over 100 km/h (62 mph) not exceptional. Winters average 5 °C (41 °F) during the day and −2 °C (28 °F) at night, but can reach −20 °C (−4 °F) on occasion. Summers are extremely windy and cloudy, with days reaching a cool 19 °C (66 °F) and nights dropping to a relatively cold 7 °C (45 °F). Cold weather can occur at any time, and despite the very low precipitation, bad weather with light drizzle and clouds is quite common.
|Climate data for Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina|
|Record high °C (°F)||35||34||32||24.1||19.6||15.9||14||17||24.9||25.1||30.4||30||nil
|Average high °C (°F)||19.3||19.3||16.9||12.9||8||4.8||4.3||7||11.1||14.4||16.9||18.6||12.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||13.4||13||10.7||7.5||3.9||1.4||0.9||3||5.6||8.5||11.1||12.7||7.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||7.7||7.3||5.5||2.9||0.2||-1.9||-2.2||-0.3||1.1||2.7||5.1||6.8||2.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||-0.9||-1.8||-7.8||-11||-14.5||-18.2||-20.2||-12||-7.8||-6.2||-6.4||-3.6||nil
|Precipitation mm (inches)||33.2||21.2||18.6||21.5||23.5||18.4||19.3||11.7||11.5||16.9||21.7||24.7||242.2|
|Avg. precipitation days||11||8||6||8||11||7||7||5||6||8||8||9||94|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||133.3||135.6||133.3||105||102.3||84||83.7||105.4||126||164.3||144||124||1440.9|
|Percent possible sunshine||27||31||34||33||37||35||33||34||36||35||28||23||32|
|Source #1: NOAA, Servicio Meteorologico Nacional|
|Source #2: Secretaria de Mineria|
- "Climate: Río Gallegos - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- "Rio Gallegoes AERO Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- "Dato Estadisticos (Periodo 1981-1990)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- "Provincia de Santa Cruz - Clima Y Meteorologia: Datos Meteorologicos Y Pluviometicos" (in Spanish). Secretaria de Mineria de la Nacion (Argentina). Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- Municipality of Río Gallegos — Official website.
- Rio Gallegos Online Information — Online Information in Spanish.
- Municipal information: Municipal Affairs Federal Institute (IFAM), Municipal Affairs Secretariat, Ministry of Interior, Argentina. (Spanish)
- Argentum21 - Rio Gallegos
- Video Footage of the City - YouTube
- Video Footage of the City 2 - YouTube