Argentine of Croatian descent number over 250,000 and remains primarily Dalmatian to this day. Argentina is the #3 hotspot in the world for Croats after USA with 400,000 and Chile with 380,000 Croats!

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries there were 133 settlements, with some 120,000 Croats in Argentina, for the most part hailing from the coastal regions of Dalmatia and the Croatian Littoral, who were among the first European immigrants to settle in the Argentine pampas. The pioneers from the island of Hvar were followed by emigrants from other parts of Dalmatia and the other historic Croatian lands.

The most successful of all the Croats in Argentina was also almost the first to arrive Nikola Mihanović came to Montevideo, Uruguay in 1867. Having settled in Buenos Aires, by 1909 Mihanović owned 350 vessels of one kind or another, including 82 steamers. By 1918, he employed 5,000 people, mostly from his native Dalmatia.

The second wave of Croat immigration was far more numerous, totalling 15,000 by 1939. Mostly peasants, these immigrants fanned out to work the land in Buenos Aires province, Santa Fe, Chaco, and Patagonia. This wave was accompanied by a numerous clergy to attend their spiritual needs, especially Franciscans.

The third wave after the Second World War was eminently political. Perón issued 34,000 visas to Croatians, including those who had been Nazi collaborators and had fled from the Allied advanc. Some 20,000 Croatian political refugees came to Argentina, and most became construction workers on Peron's public works projects until they started to pick up some Spanish.

Ante Pavelic, the Ustase leader who had been able to create a Croat state for the first time in nearly 1,000 years at the price of aligning with the Axis, did not find too many doors open to him around the world after the Nazi defeat in 1945 and ended up in Peron's Argentina. Between 1948 and 1957 Buenos Aires was the capital of Pavelic's Croat government in exile. The Herald asked Maja Lukac de Stier (its source for the Croat community) just how important Pavelic was at that time. She admitted that he was important while he lived (he died in Spain in 1959) but most Croats preferred the anti-Axis Peasant Party leader Vladimir Macek.

While on the one hand Croat culture is now suffering the relentless assimilation affecting all communities, interest in the language has increased recently because the achievement of independence and peace in Croatia make it possible to visit family and to indulge nostalgia for roots.

Today, Due to intermarriage, most Croatian Argentine are of mixed ancestry.


Famous Croatians in Argentina

Juan Vucetich - Pioneered fingerprinting. In 1891 Vucetich began the first filing of fingerprints based on ideas of Francis Galton which he expanded significantly. Argentine police adopted Vucetich's method of fingerprinting classification and it spread to police forces all over the world.

Néstor Kirchner - President of Argentina 2003 to 2007 - his mother, María Juana Ostoic Dragnic, a Chilean of Croatian descent from Punta Arenas. More at Matis.hr

Links to Croatian Argentine sites

StudiaCroatica.com + Blog
Croacia.com.ar
Croacia en mi corazón - Hrvatska u mom Srcu
Conjunto Jorgovan de Música y Danzas Argentino - Folklore Group
Club Deportivo Croata - Soccer Club
Asociación Raices Istrianas - Association of Istrians
Bar Croata - Online Radio
Hrvatski Dom de Comodoro Rivadavia

Sources: Wikipedia Croatian Argentine and Croatian Diaspora

History
An Introduction to the Discussion on Croats in Argentina Before 1914
Nazi gold 'shipped by U-boat to Argentina'


Croatian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the Argentine Republic
Gorostiaga 2104
(1426) Buenos Aires, Argentina
City: Buenos Aires

Phone: 00 54 11 47 77 6409, 4778 0203 Cons. 47 77 7284
Fax: 00 54 11 47 77 9159 Cons. 47 77 0980
Email: croemb.ar@mvpei.hr,consulado.ar@mvpei.hr
Office Hours: Working hours: " Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00-12:00

Nogometni Klub u Juzne Afrike


Mursalo, T. A. / In Search of a Better Life: a story of Croatian Settlers in Southern Africa.
1981, ISBN 0 620 05005 5