My name is Javier Santich and I was born on February 3, 1971 in the city of Rosario, in the southern province of Santa Fe in Argentina. I am the grandson of Croats born in Jelsa on the island of Hvar in Dalmatia. By profession, I am an accountant and a professor of economics at various faculties. I am married to Evangelina Sfilio.

My grandparents, Ivan Santić and Franka Ivanišević, came from beautiful Jelsa. In search of new horizons, they settled in the south of the province of Santa Fe at the beginning of 1900. They lived in several villages, such as Pavon Arriba, Peyrano, Villa Mugueta, Villa Cañas, and then spent their last years in Rosario. They had two sons. One was Tadeo my father and the father of my brother Mauricio, and the other was Vicente the father of Juan Carlos.

I share my passion for Croatia with my friends from the Croatian community in Rosario and the surrounding area.

In 2002, with my mother and father, I made a giant Croatian flag 9 meters long and 4.5 meters wide, made entirely of fabric, down to the details on the shield. It is really beautiful and I keep it as one of my treasures.

Together with two of my best friends, namely Ivan Grbac and Jorge Vukovic, I participated in the launch of the radio program called “Bar Croata”. It was in 2005 after the visit of football player Alojša Asanović and journalist Kacić Karlin and the presentation of their book “Vatreni lakat”, about the history of Croatian football (Asanović’s career). With great motivation and love for our beloved Croatia, we have been holding a radio program every Friday for more than a decade and a half. Over time, other members joined us, such as Carlos Bukovac, Branka Bezić Filipović, Faustina Zarić, Oscar Čučković, Carlos Santamaria Morezuelas, Patricia Avila Kuljiš, Petar Šarić and Zvonko Jelovina.

Radio is exciting, and the fact that it is not only broadcast on a modulated frequency but also on social networks, on Facebook and YouTube, enables us to communicate with our homeland Croatia and all its diasporas around the world. During the transmission, we receive messages from Croatia, Herzegovina and other countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and from all parts of the world where there are Croats and that is wonderful.

The Croatian show “Radio Bar Croata” received three national awards in Argentina: Lanin de Oro, Cuna de la Bandera and Reyna del Plata.

I traveled to Croatia with a delegation of Argentine athletes, descendants of Croats, in 2006 to participate in the first Croatian World Games, which were held in Zadar, organized by the Croatian World Congress.

I had time to get to know the beauty of my second homeland, Croatia, but also my family and relatives in Split and Jelsa on the island of Hvar. That trip remained forever deep in my heart. I will never forget Croatian memories and the warmth of my relatives who received me with great love.

I would also like to tell about a special hobby, the collection of Croatian soccer jerseys that my friend Ivan Grbac and I started collecting a few years ago. We have over 400 Croatian football jerseys. The collection consists of three main categories:

The HNS national team, league teams (First, Second, Third League and Local Leagues) and clubs of the Croatian diaspora from all over the world.

I also want to point out that I received Croatian citizenship because I feel part of my nation, as one Croat in the great diaspora of that noble nation.

Javier Santich