The Korean Diaspora Project: Koreans in Argentina

Throughout the 19th and 20th Century, Argentina was one of the preeminent destinations for immigrants across the world. Buenos Aires, like its American counterpart New York City, was widely seen as the gateway for further opportunities and new, improved lifestyles; Argentina was a young nation that widely accepted diverse immigrant groups. For the Korean population, Argentina was also seen as another leading nation in Latin America that could provide financial and objective prospects not found back home. In this way, Argentina became home to one of the largest ethnic Korean populations in the Western Hemisphere. The story of Korean migration to Argentina, however, is also a story of integration and complex inter-ethnic relations. For those immigrants growing up in Argentina, their backgrounds are demonstrative of the different manners in which the idea of what it means to be Korean and Latin American can both be intense, rewarding, and constantly evolving, perhaps even dismantling or further complicating what it means to be Argentine as well

Like in other Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Korean migration to Argentina formally began in 1965 and continued throughout the 70s, when several hundred families made their way from Korea to Argentina. These Korean immigrants were expected to work in the Agriculture sector and maintain farms within the extensive rural province; because they had no experience working in such conditions, however, many relocated to urban areas. Furthermore, a majority of the population, however, traveled to Argentina in the mid 1980’s, mostly as a result of a recently-passed legislation that granted easier entry access to Korean immigrants. From 1984 to 1989, more than 11,000 Korean immigrants entered the country, and this rate continued before reaching its peak in 1990, when more than 42,000 immigrants arrived in Argentina, primarily in the province and city of Buenos Aires. This is but a brief history of Koreans in Argentina.

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Korean Immigrants in Argentina 

“The Half-Century Story of Korean Immigrants in Argentina (Part One)”

“The Half-Century Story of Korean Immigrants in Argentina” (Part Two)

The Changing Landscape in Buenos Aires: Korean and Asian Migrant Communities