Welsh Language Project

What's it all about?

You might think that teaching Welsh restricts you to a few million people in approximately 8,000 square miles in the UK. But you’d be wrong. On July 27 1865 one hundred and fifty three Welsh settlers departed for South America aboard the converted tea-clipper Mimosa. Now, 150 years later, around 50,000 Patagonians are of Welsh descent.

It all means that Welsh is very much a desired language in the beautiful Chubut region of Patagonia. (Just google ‘Chubut landscapes’ if you want to see for yourself how beautiful it is.) Every year we send three language development officers to the region for about nine months to develop Welsh in communities. If you’re lucky, you could be one of them.

What will I be doing?

There are three catchment areas in Chubut – Andes, Gaiman and Trelew – where we work with nursery, primary, secondary and adult students. These classes help the Welsh culture to flourish, not just through improving languages, but through social activities such as dance and music. In 2014, well over 1,000 people took part in the Welsh courses, which is part-funded by the Welsh Government, the Wales Argentina Society (Cymdeithas Cymru-Ariannin) and British Council. You can read more about the details of the project here.

What does it cost?

If this sounds like the kind of project you’d like to be involved with, then the good news is there’s a generous grant available to cover most of your costs, as well as a monthly salary of £750. The grant includes:

  • return flights
  • medical insurance
  • visa renewal fees
  • £150 arrival allowance
  • £150 departure allowance

On top of all that, your accommodation will be provided free of charge by the local community in Patagonia.

Do I have to speak Spanish?

No, but any existing knowledge will of course help you out. Welsh is the only mandatory language.

Can I apply?

The programme is open to anyone with experience teaching Welsh at primary, secondary or adult levels. There are three teaching positions available each year.

When’s the deadline?

The deadline for placements in 2015 has already passed. Please sign up to our newsletter to keep up to be alerted when this opens again and for other similar opportunities.

What they say

“For years, I have marvelled at the idea that there are people in Patagonia who can speak Welsh and, since I had not done much travelling, the idea of visiting Patagonia filled me with excitement! I wanted to do more than just visit 'Welsh' villages and was eager to work with the community in order to get a true taste of how the Welsh language is used. I was surprised at how well the adults and children can speak Welsh, especially when there is not much Welsh at home. But, more than that, there is a strong desire to learn Welsh in Patagonia and they work hard each week in their lessons. They always take advantage of the opportunity to speak the language and to take part in social activities such as folk dancing, despite leading busy lives between school and work.”

– Catrin Thomas, Volunteer August 2013