Croatian Argentines

The Argentine community of Croats is one of the oldest and largest in South America.

Precise and clear written allegations of settling Croats in Argentina are not older than two centuries, but the first material traces of old Middle Ages were found in southern Paraguay, 61 stone plates with a Glagolitic inscription from the Middle Ages and a couple of similar stone inscriptions in Argentina. The coast of Argentina and La Plate were visited by medieval-early Croatian sailors.

Argentina is in the top countries where Croatian emigrants live, so our community is robust. The most significant suburban group of overseas Croatians outside of Europe with about 180,000 Croatian descendants are located in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area.

The number of descendants lately stagnates due to assimilation, relocation to Chile, and return to liberated Croatia. It is assumed that over the next few years Chilean Antofagasta will surpass Buenos Aires and become the largest community of overseas Croatians. Croats around Buenos Aires are mostly from the northern part of the Croatian coast Kvarner, while in other South American cities dominate southern Adriatic settlers from Dalmatia.

Croats mostly came in the mid-20th century as refugees after the Second World War. They have been engaged in fishing, shipbuilding, and maritime affairs.

At the turn of the 19th century, Nikola Mihanović was a well-known shipowner and founder of the Argentine merchant fleet. He employed about 5,000 Adriatic seafarers. One of the Argentine presidents Néstor Kirchner Ostoić and the famous anthropologist Juan Vucetich, who first developed police fingerprint identification, are also Croatian descendants.

About 250,000 Croatian descendants are aware of their origin, and some know Croatian or barely passively understand Croatian. It is estimated that in Argentina, there are about half a million of half-Croatian descendants, which is similar to the number of descendants in the US, so Argentina is by the number of descendants on second place in America after Chile.

Most Croatians live in the capital of Buenos Aires.

Croatian immigrants and their offspring have primarily contributed to the development of this country in which they enjoy living as individuals or in communities. They also received numerous honors from Argentine state bodies.

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