The Croatian community in Argentina is one of the oldest in South America. Croats sailed with various explorers as sailors, and some remained on the new continent, but these were individual entries because the actual immigration followed later.
The first Croats to come to Argentina in the mid-19th century arrived in Buenos Aires, the largest port in the South Atlantic and the entrance to all of South America. Our first settlement in that city was established in the 1840s. The first settlers were from the islands of central Dalmatia, Pelješac and the surroundings of Dubrovnik, and the islands of Hrvatsko Primorje. There were not many of them, so we believe that the first wave of immigration took place from the 1880s until the First World War. The immigrant population was from a wider area such as the Bay of Kotor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Hvar, Brač, Vis, Metković, and from the coast of Makarska. During the second wave of immigration, between the two wars, in 1940, there were between 15 and 20,000 Croats in Buenos Aires. In addition to many Hvar residents, there were Istrians, Ličani, and Slavonians among them. The last or the third wave of immigration took place after the Second World War and continues to this day to a lesser extent. The years when most Croats came to Argentina were 1930 and 1949.
The estimate is that about 500,000 Croats live in Argentina today, from the northern province of Chaco, the Province of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Santa Fe to Patagonia. They gather in 28 national societies, both in the capital and in the rest of the country.
Author: Branka Bezić Filipović
Translated by: Petra Filipović
Sponsored by: Juroslav Buljubašić, the Honorary Consul of Chile in Split