Introduction / History
The first Argentinian White were the "Criollos", the unmixed descendants of Spaniards, born in Spanish America. They comprised a third of the population of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. After the independence of the United Provinces (1816), Uruguay (1828) and Paraguay (1843), the criollos remained a very influential minority within the country.
After the consolidation of a central government in the United Provinces - by then renamed Argentina - presidents Domingo Sarmiento, Nicolás Avellaneda and Julio Roca encouraged European immigration. From the 1870s until the 1940s, a real migratory flow took place. It is estimated that 6.6 million Europeans and Middle-Easterners migrated to Argentina during this period. Among the newcomers were Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, French, Germans, Irish, Slavs, Syrian-Lebanese Arabs, Armenians and many others. Although the first generation of immigrants mostly married within their own ethnicity (ethnical endogamy), the children and grandchildren of those immigrants intermingled with people of the other collectivities, creating in a "melting pot" a new national/ethnical identity.
Where are they located?
They may live in any part of the country, but mostly in the central prairies - called "Pampas" - the north-eastern woods and jungles -"Litoral"- and the southern plateau - "Patagonia".
What are their lives like?
Argentinian White people may work in any economical activity: agriculture, cattle production, mining, commerce, industry and services. Though they mostly occupy the middle, upper-middle and upper levels of Argentine society, there are many poor Argentinian Whites -especially after de economic crises of 1995 and 2001. They eat much meat - beef, chicken and pork - and many other dishes derived from their Spanish and Italian traditions: spaghetti, gnocchi, ravioli, paella, stew, puchero, etc.
What are their beliefs?
They are predominantly Roman Catholic, since most are of Spanish and Italian ancestry, but there are Protestant and Orthodox people too. The Arabs generally are Christian, of the eastern rite.
What are their needs?
Many Argentinian Whites - especially the poor ones - lack proper sanitation infrastructure, therefore they suffer diseases typical of contaminated water.
Text source: Pablo Zampini