The Welsh opened the door to settling Patagonia in 1865, though the newfound freedom cost them dearly. Few had farmed before and the arid steppe bore resemblance to their verdant homeland. After nearly starving they survived with the help of the Tehuelche, and eventually occupied the entire lower Chubut valley, founding the towns and teahouses of Rawson, Trelew, Puerto Madryn and Gaiman.
Today about 20% of Chubut’s inhabitants have Welsh blood, but a revival of Welsh culture is dragging it back from the grave. The renewed bond means yearly British Council appointments of Welsh teachers and exchanges for Patagonian students, though with the passage of Brexit, funding for many of these programs has disappeared. Curious Welsh tourists visit to time travel in their own culture, thanks to Patagonia’s longtime isolation.