Los Antiguos: History and Legends


When arriving at Los Antiguos, you will find a valley covered by small farms where cherries, strawberries, and other fruit are cultivated. These plantations started some 25 years ago as an attempt to give new impulse to a place that had fallen into lethargy since in 1955 the frontier was closed to Chilean minerals embarking in Puerto Deseado, on the Atlantic coast.
By decree of the executive of 11th July 1921, colonies and towns were created within the different national territories. In the northwest of Santa Cruz, colony Leandro N. Alem was created, and within it, in 1938, both town and farming lands are meassured, thus creating the mix colony Los Antiguos, with a surface of 8300 hectares. Its name derives from the Tehuelche phrase "I-Keu-khon", which means "old people´s place", since it was a sacred place for Tehuelche aged people.
The first white man who settled in the area was Anselmo Melo in 1906, and some time later Tristán Martínez, who were in contact with Chile Chico, a small town in Chile very near Los Antiguos.
After the measuring of the land in 1938 started the traffic of minerals such as lead, copper, and zinc, originary of the Chilean exploitations around lake General Carrera, which were transported to the Atlantic coast, specifically to Puerto Deseado, where they were shipped to Santiago de Chile, since communications within Chile were impossible at that time. This traffic was carried out until 1955, when it was interrupted and the area evolved towards the cultivation of fruit, mainly cherries, but also strawberries, and raspberries, and also vegetables.
Every January, they celebrate the Cherry Provincial Festival.