The Welsh-Argentine community is centred around Trevelin, Trelew, and Gaiman.
While there are still many towns and villages that have Welsh names, the spoken language itself has nearly entirely waned to approximately 2,000 speakers across the main towns.
However, over 50,000 Argentines claim Welsh descent, and elements of Welsh culture still persist in the area, such as the region’s many tea houses serving bara brith cake, the rugby matches still widely played in Patagonia, and the ‘Eisteddfod‘ cultural festivals that are organised by the community.
In truth, apart from visiting a few tiny museums or marveling at some stone houses, the best and only way to get a dose of this unusual heritage is to take one of the famed afternoon teas.
Gaiman has the biggest concentration of teahouses.
They’re tourist traps, of course, but provided you have a sweet tooth, they are an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. Expect knitted tea cozies, bone china saucers, and a generous spread, featuring way more cakes than any person could eat in one sitting.
What’s so Welsh about it? Much is made of the local specialty, a dark, rich fruit cake called torta negra (black cake).