Photoblog: Southeast Asians in Buenos Aires

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SONY DSCFor most of its history, Argentina has been characterised as a nation of immigrants with foreign communities heavily marking its culture. While the vast majority of the foreign population living in the country comes from Latin America and Europe, walking through Buenos Aires’ neighbourhoods brings to light that it also has a vibrant Southeast Asian community.

Although the number of Southeast Asian people in the city is comparably small, their presence has quite a long history. Their immigration to Argentina was promoted in 1979 with an immigration programme launched by Argentina’s government aimed at up to 1,000 families from Southeast Asia. In this context, Argentina saw two migrant groups arriving in 1980, comprising almost 300 families in total (266 families from Laos, 21 from Cambodia and 6 from Vietnam). The first contingent arrived in Buenos Aires Province in February 1980 and was then relocated to the northeast of the country, to the city of Posadas, Misiones Province, where immigrants received shelter, money and a job in agriculture. A couple of months later, the second group arrived in Buenos Aires and was sent to different districts throughout the country such as Rio Negro, Santa Fe and Mendoza, also to let them work in agriculture.

However, increasingly difficult living conditions in the rural provinces led migrants to move back to the capital’s suburbs over time. Today, according to official records, around 2,000 Southeast Asians, mostly Lao descendants, are living in Argentina with Buenos Aires Province accommodating 45 per cent of total Southeast Asian residents in the country, while Misiones Province accounts for 17 per cent, the City of Buenos Aires 14 per cent and Rio Negro Province 11 per cent.

The majority of Laotians, Thai and Vietnamese own restaurants, small groceries and vending stands and mix with Chinese immigrants in an area called “Barrio Chino”, Buenos Aires’ Chinatown, situated in Belgrano, a middle-class neighbourhood. Below a few photographic impressions:

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

For most of its history, Argentina has been characterised as a nation of immigrants with foreign communities heavily marking its culture. While the vast majority of the foreign population living in the country comes from Latin America and Europe, walking through Buenos Aires’ neighbourhoods brings to light that it also has a vibrant Southeast Asian community.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

SONY DSCFor most of its history, Argentina has been characterised as a nation of immigrants with foreign communities heavily marking its culture. While the vast majority of the foreign population living in the country comes from Latin America and Europe, walking through Buenos Aires’ neighbourhoods brings to light that it also has a vibrant Southeast Asian community.

Although the number of Southeast Asian people in the city is comparably small, their presence has quite a long history. Their immigration to Argentina was promoted in 1979 with an immigration programme launched by Argentina’s government aimed at up to 1,000 families from Southeast Asia. In this context, Argentina saw two migrant groups arriving in 1980, comprising almost 300 families in total (266 families from Laos, 21 from Cambodia and 6 from Vietnam). The first contingent arrived in Buenos Aires Province in February 1980 and was then relocated to the northeast of the country, to the city of Posadas, Misiones Province, where immigrants received shelter, money and a job in agriculture. A couple of months later, the second group arrived in Buenos Aires and was sent to different districts throughout the country such as Rio Negro, Santa Fe and Mendoza, also to let them work in agriculture.

However, increasingly difficult living conditions in the rural provinces led migrants to move back to the capital’s suburbs over time. Today, according to official records, around 2,000 Southeast Asians, mostly Lao descendants, are living in Argentina with Buenos Aires Province accommodating 45 per cent of total Southeast Asian residents in the country, while Misiones Province accounts for 17 per cent, the City of Buenos Aires 14 per cent and Rio Negro Province 11 per cent.

The majority of Laotians, Thai and Vietnamese own restaurants, small groceries and vending stands and mix with Chinese immigrants in an area called “Barrio Chino”, Buenos Aires’ Chinatown, situated in Belgrano, a middle-class neighbourhood. Below a few photographic impressions:

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