El Chaltén History and Legends


El Chaltén is a small village founded in 1985 by law Nº 1771/85 passed by legislature of the province of Santa Cruz, being its creation date 12th October 1985, and this the youngest town in Argentina.
El Chaltén originates as a settlement where services were provided in a scarcely populated area under conflict, an act of domain executed by the province of Santa Cruz over its territory, with an influence area rapidly expanded, since the limiting controversy with Chile in the area of Lago del Desierto were definitively solved in 1994, when an international jury judged in favor of Argentina. Effective settlement was carried out in 1987, and both population and infrastructure have rapidly developed ever since then.
Immigrants from different places in Europe, who initially arrived in Punta Arenas and then passed into the continent through the pass Ultima Esperanza, settled by the end of the XIX century and beginning of XXth in the area next to El Chaltén.
The first settler in the region was Fred Otten, then arrived the families: Ramstrong, Halvorsen, Rojo from Spain, Madsen from Denmark, then Martin Bjerg, Alberto Wittwer, Jean Henriksen, José Pérez Rubio, Wittwe and Mac Leod, all of them dreaming of common progress while working on different tasks like sheep breeding.
A reminder of their epopee are the streets of El Chaltén which proudly bear the names of these pioneers, whose settling in the region was hard, even violent, since they had to face different adversities such as a foreign language, lack of money, and constant struggle against big stock companies.

Patricia Halvorsen, "Amidst the Vueltas River and the Continental Ice Sheet", essay, 224 pages, Editorial Vinciguerra, 1997. ISBN 950-843-278-0.

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