El Calafate Regional Museum in Patagonia
I have often encountered little museums on my travels that are really fascinating like the Calafate Regional Museum in Patagonia. It is a very small but interesting museum that gives insight into the history of the Indian people that lived in Patagonia many years ago.
Inside the Regional Museum
The museum is an old house that was donated to the Municipality and converted into a museum. There are a lot of photographs that are displayed on a timeline that give insight into the difficulties that faced the people when they settled here.
It is sad to know that only 5% of the original Indian people are left in Argentina. Most have them have been killed for political motives. The museum takes you on a journey through the struggle of these people.
Life in Patagonia is not easy. The weather is extreme to say the least and changes very quickly. That I have experienced myself while I was staying in El Calafate and El Chalten.
While I was walking through the museum I recognized a lot of implements that my ancestors used when they trekked through South Africa to establish themselves on farms. The ox wagon was one of them. When I looked at these photos I thought about the struggles that faced my own people. It couldn’t have been easy for them and life must have been very hard.
The ox wagon played a very important role in Patagonia because they used it to transport wool. I realized how difficult farming must be and it gave me a new perspective and admiration for all farmers.
On display in glass cabinets are basic paleontological, archaeological and geological exhibits. There are great photos and fauna collections. You will also be able to see some bird species.
The entrance to the museum is free. There is a small restaurant where you can buy beverages to enjoy in the outdoor garden. There are also early equipment on display for the transport of wool. Wool was called “white gold” and very important in those years.
The museum is wheelchair friendly and all the information has been translated into Braille.
A visit to this museum comes highly recommended and you will be able to get a glimpse into the lives of the Indians and people who settled in Patagonia and the struggles that they faced.
Where to find the calafate regional museum?
The Museum is on the main street, Av. Libertador General San Martín. between Río Gallegos and Coronel Rosales streets, before the bridge over Arroyo Calafate.
Where: El Calafate,Patagonia,Argentina
When: March 2007