Historical research makes one presume that the first settlers of the present Pampean region were pampid tribal groups, called Tehuelches, whose presence is the oldest recorded in the province up to the present time.
The famous Campaign called Conquest of the Desert produced deep alterations in the living conditions of the native people in those times, radically changing the land, open to exploitation by European immigrants, who started using modern productive technology unknown by the original settlers.
Once military campaigns concluded in 1882, the national government granted the land recently conquered, a fact supported by four national laws that allowed to transfer the so-called 15.000 leagues taken away from the aboriginal people.
La Pampa was a national territory until mid XX century. During the first years of this century arrived numerous European immigrants , who worked vigorously in the area and particiopated in the laying of the railway track and the foundation of villages, and by the decade spawning from 1920 to 1930, agriculture and cattle breeding had already extended to their present limits.
In 1883, Colonel Renigio Gil raised a cattle farm in the field assigned to his father in law, Mr. Tomás Mason, an enterprising, dinamic, optimistic man. This visionary decided to create a village after the solicitude made by the territory governor, Dr. José Luro.
The first inhabitant was a newcomer who met Mason on his way to Toay. Mason told him about his project, and offered him a plot of land to build his house. The newcomer was León Safontás, a 26 year old Frenchman. After some time, many people had settled down. Among the families who settled here we can mention the Monnier, Bousquet, Lacheral, Gerín, Merello, and Roux, as well as other people, mostly French, who came from Trenque Lauquen.
It was then that Mason decided to officially found the town on November 22, 1892.
The population went on increasing. New families arrived, like Gamboa, Colomés, Colombato, Etcheverry, Alagis, Perroud, Toschino, as well as others.
Farming keeps being an important activity in the region nowadays. The same vigour of the first settlers keeps guiding the present people who toil in the land throughout the province, while numerous touristic and recreational activities in constant evolution in the region start flourishing.
Today the young and modern capital of La Pampa is a breakthrough to the most important touristic resorts in Argentina, connected to Buenos Aires just by an hour flight.
The Fox and the Partridge
Compiled by Ana Fernandez Garay . 1993 from the book Cuentan los mapuches. Edit.Nuevo Siglo.
When I was a little boy, my father used to tell me this story about the fox and the partridge.
It happened that the partridge was very good at whistling. All day long she walked around whistling. The fox would have loved to be able to whistle like the partidge, so when he met her on his way, he asked her:
-How can you whistle? The partridge made e demonstration of her ability, and the fox, enthusiastic, asked her to teach him to whistle.
So the partidge proposed to sew his mouth, and so they did: they sewed his mouth, but leaving a little opening.
- Whistle! - they said, and the fox whistled. He was full of joy. Shortly after, the fox found a mule, rode on it and off he went, whistling, of course.
Around he skulked, whistling and whistling. But a problem appeared: he could not eat because his mouth was sewn. He could only whistle. The partridge, instead, was fine: she ate whatever she wanted.
Once the fox walked by near the partridge, but he did not greet her. So she thought:
-I´m going to fly to stop him on his way, the fox is going to fall, and then, he is going to greet me.
As she had planned, it happened. The fox came whistling, and did not see her, so the partridge flew, he fell down, and his mouth split up.
That is why the fox could not whistle any more.
Note: this story was related in Mapuche language and in Spanish by Daniel Cabral in February, 1988, in Santa Isabel, La Pampa. Literary version by Inés P. Simons.
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