European Case

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Portuguese passport  
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Travel documents
Croatian ship passage

Since 1901, the founding date of Comodoro Rivadavia, the most significant donors to Comodoro Rivadavia have been European countries.  These immigrants built the small port town and later provided laborers for the petroleum industry in this area.  Even though Italians and Spaniards were the largest immigrant groups to enter Argentina during the period of 1870 –1914, mass immigration to Comodoro Rivadavia did not occur until 1907, and the numbers of Italian immigrants were not as significant.  The most prevalent immigrant groups were Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Eastern European (mainly Polish, Bulgarian, and Slavic).  
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Ivanka Petkova - Bulgarian immigrant
Jose Fernandez Dominguez - Spanish immigrant
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José Fernández Domínguez - Spanish immigrant
Video clip Describes process of immigration from Bulgaria to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina.

Transcript of video clip
Video clip  (1) Describes his immigration experience as  a stowaway on a ship from Spain.

Video clip  (2)  continued

of video clip (1 & 2)
Economic situations, political reasons concerning war, and the search of better jobs or life conditions were a few of the many reasons that compelled immigrants to leave Europe.  Many traveled as single men, which in turn facilitated the process of migration for their kin.  It was common for men to lave wives and children at home in order to support their families from possible income they could earn abroad.  With time, family reunification and family migration also developed.

Sailors All of the immigrants traveled by ship from their point of origin in Europe.  Many had layovers in the port towns of the Mediterranean Sea or along the coast of Africa that often elongated the process of travel. Just the journey alone from the western shores of Europe to the Argentine port of entry, Buenos Aires, lasted on average 30 days.  Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, the immigrants had to provide documentation of identity and beginning in the 1930's they also had to assure the authorities that they had already obtained work through previously established networks.  If they did not have possible employment, the immigrants would typically remain in the Immigrant Hotel in Buenos Aires for several days. Buenos Aires, however, was not the last port. Once in Argentina, the journey continued south.  The difficult 2000 km journey from Buenos Aires to Comodoro Rivadavia was a difficult one usually endured on a petroleum ship.

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Fanny de Levang - Croatian immigrant
Video clip (1) Describes the
political situation in Europe.

Video clip (2) Describes life
conditions and survival strategies.

Video clip (3) Describes journey
to Argentina and migratory process.
Transcript of video clip (1)

Transcript of video clip (2)

Transcript of video clip (3)

Those immigrants destined to arrive in Comodoro Rivadavia encountered a city that was for the most part, unfamiliar.  However, they were joining a society mainly composed of immigrants like themselves. More importantly, after initial settlement most of the migrants arived in the area using the assistance of family members, friends, and compatriots.  Migration chains frequently connected specific regions and towns in Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and other European countries with Comodoro Rivadavia and its oild company towns.

Jose Fernandez Dominguez - Spanish immigrant
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José Fernández Domínguez - Spanish immigrant
Maria de Mendonca - Portuguese immigrant
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María de Mendonça - Portuguese immigrant
Video clip Describes his arrival story to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

of video clip.
Video clip Describes her arrival to Comodoro Rivadavia and her first impressions of the area.
Transcript of video clip

Ethnic associations were created to provide social benefits and help maintain traditions from immigrant's home countries of origin.  These organizations demonstrated the prevalence of a diverse sector of immigrants.  Upon arrival to Comodoro, these ethnic associations were utilized to bring people from the same country together, provide spaces for socialization and recreation, and aid immigrants in finding work and housing.

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Men enjoying some mate.