Fontana and his riflemen

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Annually in the Travelin city organizes a procession recalls the feat that made the rifles of Fontana. These men in 1885 arrived in the valley; they called in Welsh language, CWN Hyfryd, then settled in this place.

Fontana riflemen
During the spring of 1885 in a place that today occupies the province of Chubut (Argentina) a group of 3 men who were led by Luis Jorge Fontana left the town of Rawson to the Andes with the aim of searching land to people.

The Fontana was a veteran commander of the War of Paraguay and had founded the city of Formosa, had also been appointed the first governor of the National Territory of Chubut a year before the trip.
The group consisted mostly of Welsh settlers, few Argentines and other men of different nationalities.
These men in their journey took nearly 3,000 horses, several guns and a lot of supplies to make their journey through inhospitable land.

After more than a month of riding, 25 November 1885, found the valley where today is located and Travelin Esquel. They called him in Wales, CWN Hyfryd (Enchanted Valley), as noticed in him a great beauty.

After a while, and evaluating such a feat the national government granted a square mile of the valley to each of the villagers to return to their families and settle in the place. Thus life began to take the Colonia 16 de October (This date recalls the day when the Act was enacted national territory). In 1923 this new settlement played an important role in the boundary dispute with Chile, as the British Crown ruling in favor of Argentina, to adopt the criterion of actual occupation of the disputed territory.

Currently, all 24 of November the Company of riflemen from Chubut (civil partnership is formed by descendants of the original rifles) a parade to commemorate that date. The group leaves the History School No. 18 and is directed by the steep Sierra Colorada to the rock from which the adventurers of 1885 they saw the valley for the first time. For the occasion 30 rifles are made period costumes and carry pack horses to hang their arms and shoulders. This ride began to perform in the mid 60s on the advice of Milton Evans, who was son of the legendary John Daniel Evans, who was baqueano of the original expedition.

The tour reaches to the mast that sits on the edge of the precipice brownstone, a real balcony overlooking the valley, where they hoisted the flag of Argentina and sings the National Anthem and an Army bugle is played to honor the deceased members. Of the 30 players participating each has a default role that is based on the origin of the blood relation they have with the rifleman they represent. There is the possibility of joining up to make the journey and join them in the place of the ceremony.

In 2005 it celebrates 120 years of the issue and for this reason we made a complete shape in which it traveled 700 km from Rawson to Travelin. It was a real challenge because all members were “cordilleranos” and had to take the horses through the mountains truck to Rawson. Besides grass bales were placed along the road to feed the animals and the national gendarmerie team accompanies carrying their provisions and water for riders.

The crossing at that time lasted 3 weeks and arrived just in time for the November 24 could perform the ceremony.

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